State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) presented a resolution during today’s Ohio House session to Jacob King, honoring him for earning a U.S. Army Joint Civilian Commendation Medal.
“Chief King volunteered to be stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, overseeing the training of over 600 firefighters AND the health and safety of over 20,000 U.S. personnel,” said Koehler.
King served 16 months with NATO forces, where he worked as the Senior Fire and Disaster Response Advisor to the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of the Interior in Afghanistan.
“Because of his service he received the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Medal from the U.S. Forces Commander in Afghanistan, Colonel Christopher McGowan, United States Army,” said Koehler. “Chief King served in this capacity and spent that time away from his wonderful wife and children. He has sacrificed time from the things he loves to serve the country he loves. I believe that deserves to be noted and congratulated.”
“Everyone does fire-fighting differently and it’s interesting to see how practices differ throughout the world...But, without a doubt, the U.S. (firefighting) practices are the best there are in the world" said King, who currently serves as the Fire Chief in Bethel Township.
Chief King says he is proud of his work, he also thinks it is important for people to understand something he learned while overseas.
“Only a very, very small percentage of people in Afghanistan want to hurt us,” says Chief King, “Most people are trying to just live their lives and get by day-to-day. They are happy to see us because we have helped make things better in their country...Women are allowed to be educated now and hold public office. The life span of males has increased dramatically in the past 15 years. Good things are happening over there. Unfortunately, we hear mostly about the bad things instead. But things do continue to get better.”
Now that he is home, Chief King says he looks forward to spending time with Heather, his family, and to getting back to work with the firefighters of Bethel Township once again.