By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
During Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State address Tuesday he award one of three Governor’s Courage Medals to Jo Anna Krohn, founder of SOLACE.
“This is the greatest honor I’ve gotten in my life. This is not just my medal, it belongs to my son, Wesley, and it belongs to SOLACE and all of their lost loved ones,” Krohn said. “I heard from a lot of people there that thanked us for what we started in our county. They said we’ve changed everything in Ohio; that’s pretty awesome.”
During his speech, Kasich told Krohn’s story.
“Joanna had a son who was a senior in high school. He lost his life because of prescription drugs. As a result she formed a group called SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss And Continuing Everyday),” Kasich said. “I remember coming up before I was going to be sworn in and the SOLACE ladies were there in their pink shirts and they made me cry, because they said, ‘We want you to help us.’ Joanna Krohn could have faded away, but she stood up and made a purpose of what she and SOLACE needed to do.”
Other metal recipients included Theresa Flores, a victim of human trafficking, a teenage Theresa Flores was exploited, blackmailed, and abused. Today she is director of Education & Training for Gracehaven House in Dublin, a faith-based care and rehabilitation home for girls who have been victimized by human trafficking.
The third medal was awarded posthumously to U.S. Army Specialist Jesse Snow. In November 2010, Snow served in Afghanistan as a radio telephone operator assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. With his unit under attack, Snow crawled through enemy fire to help his fellow soldiers. After his weapon was destroyed, Snow secured ammunition, performed first aid, and even used his own body to shield a fellow soldier from machine gun fire. He later died from his wounds.
According to Kasich’s Communications office, the front of the medal shows a flame representing the spirit of courage above the shape of Ohio. Above are the words “For Courage” and below is the word “Ohio.” On the back is the recipient’s name engraved with the year of presentation.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.