Ashland County Historical Society

Preserving the Heritage of Ashland County

Ashland County Veteran Highlight

We are proud to highlight two local brothers who served in the U.S. Navy...

Brent Sponsler was born and raised in Ashland, Ohio. He graduated from Ashland High School in 1967, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, following his father Raymond’s footsteps. Brent attended Great Lakes basic training, followed by Electrical A school where he received his Electricians Mate status. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Springfield, a guided missile cruiser home based in Norfolk, Virginia. The ship was the Flag Ship for the 2nd fleet in the Atlantic. There, Brent received his 3rd Class EM status. The crew was notified in January of 1970 that the Springfield would be leaving for assignment to Gaeta, Italy, in September. Brent was then offered an early promotion to E5, 2nd Class status due to his exceptional skills and leadership. Brent and his wife, Jane married in July, and took residence in Formia, Italy, from September 1970 to September of 1971, returning to Ashland where he spent 2 years as an inactive Navy Reservist, finishing his 6 year commitment to the U.S. Navy.
During his time aboard the Springfield, Brent served in 32 countries, including Italy, France, England, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Crete, and Cuba, to name a few.
In 1975, Brent joined the U.S. Air Force Air National Guard, and served as a guardsman at the base in Mansfield, Ohio, until reaching a total of 21+ years of total military service to his country, thus giving him the military retirement status he wanted to achieve.
During Brent’s years of service, he received the National Defense Service Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal & the Air Force Commendation Medal for creating new software used in the field of logistics.
Along with his military career, Brent worked in the field of communications for 27 years, until he retired as the Verizon Communications Local Manager of Ashland County, in 2007. Brent and Jane still live in Ashland and have four grown sons and 10 grandchildren.
We thank you, Brent, for your service to our country!

 

Barry Sponsler was born and raised in Ashland, Ohio, and enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1972. He attended basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois, and received specialized training at Little Creek Naval Base and Cheatham Annex Naval Base, both in Virginia.
Barry served in Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, and Operation Enduring Freedom/Iraq Freedom. He was discharged from active duty in 2005 with the rank of E9 Master Chief Petty Officer of the United States Navy. Over the course of his military career, Barry served on the U.S.S. Butte for 2 years, worked in the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Force (ELSF) for 18 years and the ELSF Navy Custom Inspection Battalion for one year.
During his service, Barry received the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, National Service Medals (3), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Rifle Expert Medal, Navy Pistol Expert Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Commendation Medals (2), Navy Achievement Medals (2) Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Medals (4), Naval Reserve Meritorious Service, Vietnam Service, and Iraq Campaign Medal.

Barry is a retired school teacher and continues to reside in Ashland with his wife, Linda.

We thank you Barry for your Service to our country!

 

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