Edgewood Summit recently held a special ceremony to celebrate the achievements of 56 veterans and two Rosie the Riveters who call the community home. Honorees were acknowledged by name for their military service and presented with certificates of appreciation for their contributions to protecting democracy around the world. Colonel Dave Stauffer, the top-ranked chaplain in the West Virginia National Guard, served as guest speaker at the event.
“We’re proud to have so many residents who sacrificed so much for our freedom,” said Diane Gouhin, Edgewood Summit executive director. “They played such an important role in our history, and we work tirelessly to ensure they’re always honored and celebrated. It’s all part of our culture here at Edgewood Summit.”
Resident Ken Gosnell was one of the veterans honored at the ceremony. At 100 years old, Ken has practically done and seen it all. But in a life filled with adventure, nothing stands out quite like the 29 years he dedicated to the U.S. military.
Gosnell’s military career began in 1941 when he enlisted in the West Virginia National Guard. Shortly after graduating from Officer Candidate School, he was stationed at a port in England to aid in the U.S. war effort during WW2. His team was responsible for keeping all personnel, equipment and supplies in order — a key aspect in ensuring the Allied forces were victorious.
“A time or two, it got really scary,” explained Gosnell. “But I loved fighting for a good cause and serving my country so much that I stayed on after the war.”
Following WW2, Gosnell joined the Army Corps of Engineers, where he proudly served until 1971. Important mementos from his storied military career can be found in his home at Edgewood Summit, where he enjoys a maintenance-free lifestyle. He’s formed special bonds with the other veterans at the community and enjoys sharing his firsthand accounts of the war and the life lessons he acquired during his service.
Gosnell noted, “The military teaches you many things. The most important is discipline, and that’s something I’ve held on to throughout my entire life.”
Gosnell’s story of combat was so intriguing that he was interviewed by WSAZ-TV.