OHIO VALLEY — On Friday, as Donald J. Trump is sworn in as American’s 45th president, locals from the Ohio Valley will be there to witness this history in the making.
Four of those locals are Petty Officer Third Class Corbin Neville of the U.S. Navy who is originally from Gallipolis Ferry in Mason County, W.Va.; Josh Winters, a senior at River Valley High School in Gallia County, Ohio; and Ruth and Julie Spaun, a mother and daughter from Pomeroy, Ohio.
Neville, who is currently stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland, volunteered to be part of the inauguration and will be saluting President Trump from the parade route, in front of the Trump International Hotel, along with other officers from Fort Meade.
“I volunteered about three months ago…I had to wait for approval,” Neville explained, talking about having to travel to Washington D.C. last Sunday for rehearsal which was the first time he’d ever been to the capitol.
As for why he volunteered, Neville said: “The way I look at it is, I’d never been to D.C., I’ve never seen the president first hand and I’ve never been a part of history like that. And, one day I will look back and say I was there…and I can say I saw my Commander in Chief.”
Neville, a 2014 graduate of Point Pleasant High School, is a cryptologic technician in the U.S. Navy which performs a wide range of tasks in support of the national intelligence gathering effort. He is married to wife Melissa who is from Wellston, Ohio and is the son of Carla Fields of Gallipolis Ferry and Victor Neville of Delaware County, Ohio.
On Inauguration Day, Corbin was to be on base by 2 a.m. to catch a bus to Washington, D.C. and expected to be on his feet from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, with a break at lunch.
“I’m excited he’s going to be president,” Neville said. “I’m hoping it (Inauguration Day) will be a good time.”
Ruth and Julie arrived in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, taking in the Make America Great Again Celebration Concert and planned on attending the swearing in ceremony on Friday, the parade and the official inaugural ball. Ruth, a councilwoman on Pomeroy Village Council, and husband Bill, are members of the GOP in Meigs County. In fact, Bill is the chairman of the Republican Committee there and Ruth helped with the Trump campaign. Both were sent the official invitation packages from the Presidential Inaugural Committee, that included reserved tickets to the concert, swearing in ceremony, parade and inaugural ball. Bill was unable to attend so Julie, a first grade teacher at Eastern Elementary, went in his place.
“We knew this was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss out on,” Julie said. “The concert and fireworks at the Lincoln Memorial were amazing. Hearing Lee Greenwood sing ‘God Bless the USA’ in person, was so awe-inspiring.”
Winters is also already in Washington, D.C. as part of the first-ever Citizenship Washington Focus Presidential Inauguration Program sponsored by 4-H.
He is part of a delegation of 28 teens and four Ohio State University Extension educators from 13 counties who are participating in the national program, said Tracy Winters, Gallia County 4-H educator.
“They’ve been planning this since last summer,” Tracy said. “The program includes workshops on the government’s, the media’s, the president’s and the individual’s roles in the democratic process.”
In addition, the group will visit memorials, historical sites and museums, as well as attend Inauguration Day events.
According to Tracy, Citizen Washington Focus is offered by 4-H to provide teens 14 to 19 the opportunity to develop civic engagement skills. This is the first time the program is being offered during a presidential inauguration.
“I am very thankful that I was given this opportunity to attend such a historic event as the 2017 Presidential Inauguration,” Josh said. “I want to thank the Gallia County 4-H Advisors Association for sponsoring this trip. Since arriving in Washington D.C., I had the opportunity to speak in front of the entire delegation of over 500 4-H members from around the country and introduce the keynote speakers and lead the pledges on the first night of the conference. I have made new friends from all over the country and learned about many key components of our government. I am looking forward to experiencing the inauguration in person on Friday. I am thankful for all the experiences 4-H has allowed me over the years and I know this will be one I will always remember.”
Josh is a member of the For His Glory 4-H Club and in addition to attending RVHS, is enrolled in the college credit plus program at The University of Rio Grande. He is a 13-year member of the Gallia County 4-H program.
A portion of this article submitted by Tracy Winters.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.