BRIDGEPORT, Ohio (WTRF) – He’s an Army veteran, owns multiple businesses in Bridgeport and now John J. Callarik is one of the newest members of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.
The 95-year-old is one of 20 veterans who were invited to attend a special induction ceremony in Columbus last week to recognize their accomplishments not only during their military service, but throughout their lives. At that ceremony, Callarik received a plaque and medal from Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Deborah Ashenhurst.
Callarik was drafted into the Army in 1944 and served for two years in Germany during World War II. He saw combat during the Battle of the Bulge, but said his service is difficult to talk about.
Callarik told 7News he was surprised by the Hall of Fame honor, but enjoyed the experience and he’s so grateful to everyone who made it happen.
When people come up to me and thank me for what I did in the service and all and it makes you feel good. It’s hard to explain it to you how unless you got that feeling. It does. It helps me a lot to want to do that much more.John J. Callarik, 2021 Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Inductee
Callarik said when someone thanks him for his service, he thinks about those who served with him who never made it home.
If you’d like to hear more about his military service and his life afterwards, tune in to our hour-long Veterans Voices special. It’ll air on November 11 at 7:00 p.m. on WTRF ABC Ohio Valley.