Congress is considering legislation that would name three central Ohio post offices after three fallen military heroes.
The three separate bills would authorize naming three veterans memorial post offices after Army Master Sgts. Shawn T. Hannon and Jeffery J. Rieck and USMC Lance Cpl. Joshua B. McDaniels.
If passed, the bills would name the Grove City post office at 2539 Dartmoor Road after Hannon, the Columbus post office at 3700 Riverside Drive after Rieck and the London post office at 25 S. Oak St. after McDaniels.
Hannon and Rieck, along with Capt. Nicholas J. Rozanski, 36, of Dublin, were killed by a suicide bomber April 4, 2012, in the Faryab Province in northern Afghanistan.
McDaniels was killed June 12, 2011, in Afghanistan's Helmand Province by an improvised explosive device.
Hannon, 44, of Grove City, had been a soldier for 20 years at the time of his death. A 1986 graduate of Grove City High School, he was also the chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Veteran Affairs. He is survived by his wife, Jamie, and son, Evan.
Rieck, 45, of Columbus, also served in Iraq and worked full-time in the National Guard's Family Readiness Office. Born in Cincinnati, he was a 1984 graduate of Sidney High School and had served since 1987. He left behind a 15-year-old son, Joel.
McDaniels, 21, grew up in Madison County and graduated from London High School 2008. He was married and living in Dublin at the time of his death.
The bills are sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus), who represents 15th Congressional 15th District, which includes Grove City, portions of Columbus, Hilliard and London.
Stivers said he remembers when the bodies of Hannon, Rieck and Rozanski were flown home. He attending the funeral for Hannon, whom he knew personally through the National Guard and in state government.
"I was there to meet the plane, and I was thinking about what we could do to honor them," Stivers said.
He said he doesn't normally care for bills naming post offices, but American heroes are exceptions.
"I think they're an important way to honor whoever served our country and those who, unfortunately, lost their lives serving," he said.
The bills were introduced in June 2012 and were referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform March 21. They have 14 co-sponsors, all of them Ohio representatives.
Stivers said he would like to see the bills passed and the post offices named as soon as possible, but based on conversations with U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), chairman of the committee, he said they will likely be part of a much larger piece of legislation aimed at reforming the U.S. Postal Service, a process that will likely take time.
"We want to keep pushing," Stivers said. "There will need to be a little bit of negotiating. ... We're going to work hard to try to move these bills forward."
Hannon's mother, Diana Hannon Forrester, said it's quite an honor for her son. She said the family truly appreciates the support it has received from the community since his passing.
"They have supported and loved us through this," she said. "We're never going to forget that."
Hannon Forrester said her son was a fun guy who loved his family, was hardworking and had good values.
"Shawn was a patriot. He believed in the United States," she said. "He felt he had a responsibility and duty to contribute."