Each year, George Junior Republic invites the community to participate in its Annual Veterans Day celebration. The on-campus commemoration pays honor and tribute to George Junior Republic youth who have gone on to serve in the armed forces, as well as to other local veterans. More than 3,000 George Junior Republic youth have served in the military since 1940, and many have been awarded Distinguished Service medals.
Donald Lobaugh Earned the Medal of Honor
Donald R. Lobaugh is one of those former George Junior Republic youth. In September, 1940, 16-year old Donald Lobaugh of Freeport, Pennsylvania, was placed by the court at George Junior Republic for truancy and theft. Although his reform at George Junior Republic was a slow process, Lobaugh changed his behavior with the support of the staff and Superintendent Arthur Prasse. He became an outstanding student and eventually held the highest office of the elective government of George Junior Republic.
After leaving, Lobaugh joined the Army, performed valiantly on the battlefield, and placed the lives of his own platoon above his own. Lobaugh lost his life while saving 39 men in his platoon who were trapped behind enemy lines. Lobaugh was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on July 22, 1944, for his actions in the jungles of New Guinea as a member of the U.S. Army’s 32nd Infantry Division during WWII.
Vincent Hoover Received a Silver Star
Vincent Hoover was a resident at George Junior Republic in 2003. Enlisting in the Army after leaving the facility, Hoover rose to the rank of staff sergeant. He completed two tours of duty in Iraq and in 2009 was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Today, Sergeant Hoover is a tank instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Tomb Guard, Dennis J. McMahon, III
The 2015 Veterans Day speaker was Dennis McMahon, III. He first was assigned with the Old Guard, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Fort Myer, Virginia. He served with the First Presidential Marching Platoon, performing ceremonies at the White House and throughout the Capitol region, including the 1985 Presidential Inauguration Parade. He then volunteered and was selected to be a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Following his 18-month assignment to the Tomb, 1SG McMahon earned a Tomb Guard Identification badge. This badge is the second least awarded in the military, following the the Army Astronaut badge. McMahon earned the rank of First Sergeant and was a Company First Sergeant for over six years.
The Honorable Daniel Wallace, Mercer County Court of Common Pleas
The speaker for the 2014 event was the Honorable Daniel P. Wallace, Mercer County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Wallace is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduation from West Point, he was commissioned an armor officer, and was stationed in northern Germany with a brigade of the 2nd Armored Division. Judge Wallace is also a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. On November 5, 2013, he was elected into office in Mercer County.
Brigadier General William J. Ball (Ret.)
The speaker for the 2013 event was United States Air Force Brigadier General William J. Ball (Ret). The general completed over 3,700 flying hours, including 200 combat missions in Southeast Asia. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal.