Johnstown's Don Jakeway was among the 2009 inductees into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame named Thursday by Gov. Ted Strickland.

Johnstown's Don Jakeway was among the 2009 inductees into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame named Thursday by Gov. Ted Strickland.

Jakeway, a World War II veteran, and 19 other Ohio veterans will be inducted at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, in the auditorium of the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in Columbus. The ceremony is open to the public and will be preceded by a public reception beginning at 2 p.m.

Jakeway said the Johnstown American Legion Post 254 nominated him for the honor.

"I'm excited about it," he said. "The American Legion put the application together and sent it in. They induct 20 each year. I got the notice that I made it."

Jakeway is past commander of American Legion Post 254. He was Veteran of the Year in 2003, Legionnaire of the Year in 2004 and received the Inscho-Beasley-Mayfield "Licking County Veterans of the Year" award in 2008. He has established a scholarship program at Johnstown-Monroe High School and has had athletic fields named in his honor.

"I think they (the honors) all mean a lot," he told The Independent Thursday. "The state of Ohio honors 20 veterans a year, but there are a lot of veterans. It was a surprise to me. Mostly what this is about is not so much about the military but about what you did after you came home."

Jakeway, a 1942 graduate of J-M, is a veteran of the Normandy, Holland, Ardennes and central Europe campaigns.

He was one of the original organizers of Johnstown's Little League program in the 1950s and is a past president of the Johnstown Athletic Boosters and Johnstown Village Council. He coordinated many community events of the American Legion including the Fourth of July program, Little Miss Firecracker, Easter Egg Hunt, Pancake Breakfast, American Legion Baseball and Toys for Tots and Safety Town.

"These Ohio Hall of Fame Veterans stand out as wonderful examples of answering the call to a lifetime of service," Strickland said of the inductees.

Honorees for the Ohio Veterans of Fame are nominated throughout the year, and include Ohio men and women from any branch of the military and all eras of military conflict.

Jakeway said he's getting more excited about the honor as the day of induction draws closer.

"My son from Texas is coming as well as my other kids," he said. "I'm excited just for that. Most of my family will be there."

His immediate family includes wife Rene, sons Don, Dave and Kim and daughter Denise.