Medal of Honor recipient speaks to WWII heritage group

CANFIELD- Featured guest Ronald E. Rosser, a Korean War veteran, addressed the World War II Heritage Group of the Mahoning Valley on March 17 at Ala Carte Catering in Canfield. He is one of 78 surviving Medal of Honor winners, earning the accommodation during the “police action” in Korea. The patriotic mood was still vibrant in the air as the majority of World War II veterans had returned home from duty by 1946.

After completing 10th grade at the age of 17, and being the oldest of 17 children in his family, Rosser left high school to join the army. Trained to be a paratrooper, he was to see his first combat action in the frozen foothills of Korea. Assigned to Company L of the 38th Infantry Regiment, he earned his medal by braving fierce weapon fire in assaulting a hilltop objective three times, being wounded during those attacks.

Regardless of his own wound, he continued crossing the deadly ground in rescuing several wounded men under constant fire. It was President Truman himself that presented Cpl. Rosser our nation’s greatest honor, and he has met every president since Franklin Roosevelt. He finally retired from the service in 1968 as a master sergeant. He helped with the burial of both the World War II and Korean War Unknown Soldiers in 1958.

Realizing his absence of a high school degree left him in the lower ranks, Rosser finished high school and earned a college degree. He now dedicates himself to meeting with grade school children and encouraging them to complete their own education. He details his own example of a lack of a formal education in holding him back while in the ranks of the army. He is a native of Columbus and resides in Roseville.