April 28, 2013
LIMA — A Lima man and Vietnam War veteran will be inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame next month.
Jerry Chiles entered the Marine Corps with three friends after he graduated from Lima Senior High School in 1967.
The service the Military Hall of Fame plans to highlight events that led him to earn a Bronze Star.
In August 1969, Vietnamese forces came into an outpost position with automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and explosive devices. The corporal moved across the area, despite the danger, toward a gun position that had been captured, and began shooting at them. He then found a fellow Marine who had been injured, administered first aid and carried him to safety.
“It’s something I never even thought about; I just did it by instinct,” Chiles said.
“Throughout the firefight, he repeatedly disregarded his own safety to gain vantage points from which to direct fire against the enemy,” the Ohio Military Hall of Fame wrote in a prepared statement. “His heroic actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in thwarting the enemy’s attempt to overrun the friendly position. Corporal Chiles’s courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.”
A close friend of his, Louis T. Hazzard, known as Tim to friends, was killed shortly after arriving in Vietnam. Chiles said he thinks of Hazzard often. Chiles’ 21-year-old grandson, Tim Chiles, was named after him.
Chiles works as a Department of the Army police watch commander at the the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center. He previously worked security at Ford Motor Co. and as a funeral escort at the Allen County Sheriff’s Office.
The induction ceremony for the Ohio Military Hall of Fame begins at 11:30 a.m. May 3 at the State House atrium in Columbus. He will be inducted along with about 30 others from across the state.
For information, go to www.ohioheroes.org.