West Side News

Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor

Distinguished service career earns Tomcik honor


Dennis Tomcik's office at the Ohio Emergency Management Agency is peppered with awards ranging from his place in the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame to a Cavalry sword for commanding two armed Cavalry groups.

Tomcik will have another honor to add to his collection next month when he is inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor.

The two Distinguished Service Cross for Valor awards Tomcik earned during his service in Vietnam earned him a spot in the 2014 class of inductees, a letter from the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor stated.

The Distinguished Service Cross awards are what the 66-year-old said he is most proud of from his military career.

"I'm proudest of the lives I saved of my people and at this ceremony one will be there," Tomcik said. "I carried him out after he was wounded."

According to a 1969 announcement of the award, Tomcik earned his other Distinguished Service Cross of Valor for leading his platoon through a serious ground assault.

Tomcik's military career began when he joined the Army in 1966.

"Honestly, I felt I had lived 18 years in the country I always considered the best country and I felt I owed it," he said.

Tomcik's first tour of duty was in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. He served another in Cambodia from 1970 to 1971.

"When I got back from my first tour I thought about it a long time and talked to (my friend) Frank," Tomcik said. "I thought about a lot of things I did that helped people survive."

Tomcik's awards also include nine Bronze Star awards, four of them for valor; a Purple Heart; and two citations for Heroism in Battle.

After his second tour of duty, Tomcik spent time as a veterans service officer, logistics officer, cavalry commander, squadron leader and mobilization officer in Ohio.

After 27 years with the military, "I retired as a full colonel," he said.

Since then, the highly decorated veteran has worked for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency creating plans to deal with aging infrastructure in the state.

"I've worked 10 years in this office in the field and my focus is on the people of the state of Ohio," he said. "I have a real knack for seeing projects before they're projects."

But Tomcik's life hasn't been all work.

Moving to Dublin in 1985, Tomcik said he built the second house in the Tara Hill subdivision with his wife, Barbara.

"Family, to me, is the most important thing in my life and my two granddaughters are at the center of that," he said.

Two of Tomcik's sons, Denny and Nathan, are local, and his daughter, Nicole, is a nurse in Florida.

Tomcik plans to be surrounded by family and friends when he is inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor May 2.

"I'm very proud of it," he said. "What I'm most proud of is that many of my NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and people I've worked with will be there.

"You don't get these things if not for the people around you. I'm most proud of that."