a_d
Monday, January 14th, 2013
By Amy Kronenberger
St. Marys native earns Bronze Star
  ST. MARYS - One local soldier's hard work and dedication to his country has led to a high honor.
St. Marys native Joe Vires received the Bronze Star Medal on Dec. 6 in Afghanistan while finishing his third tour of duty.
The Bronze Star is the fourth highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service. The highest medals awarded are the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star.
During his most recent tour, which began in January 2012, Vires served on a 12-man team that trained Afghani soldiers to conduct combat missions and patrols.
"We went out with them to make sure they could do it themselves; we trained them to be able to govern themselves," he said.
Vires said he received the award just for doing his job.
"I think it was for my year's worth of work, a culmination of everything I did through the tour," he said.
Vires graduated from Memorial High School in 1989 and enlisted a month later on July 4. During his more than 23 years of service, he served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. He originally enlisted in the Marine Corps before transferring to the Army.
"I always wanted to join the service when I was younger," he said. "That's all I wanted to do, so I guess I did it."
Vires is on temporary leave in St. Marys with his wife, Michelle, and their three children, Mitchell, Allison and Michael. He will return to duty in Columbus and expects to serve one or two more tours.
"I just re-enlisted for six more years, so I guess I have a couple left," he said.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Approach changes in child neglect cases
• A time for local teens to shine
• Wabash River dams receive OK
• Cardinals top 'Riders to snap losing skid
• Hoyng's 32 lifts Celina to blowout victory over Waite
• Cavs edge Redskins for top spot
a_d
Saturday Night
66°
Chance Rain Showers
50%
Sunday
81°
Chance Thunderstorms
31%
Sunday Night
65°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
22%
Monday
83°
Partly Sunny
14%
Monday Night
65°
Partly Cloudy
12%
Tuesday
86°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
15%
Tuesday Night
66°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
15%
Wednesday
86°
Chance Thunderstorms
30%
Wednesday Night
67°
Partly Cloudy
25%
Thursday
86°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
20%
Thursday Night
66°
Partly Cloudy
18%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_da_d