Veterans Appreciation 2021

Ohio Flame Inc. was proud to select four US Veterans this year to honor as part of our annual Veterans Appreciation event!  Veterans were chosen based on the submissions of their loved ones telling us why they are special to to them or how they served our Country.  Congratulations to all of our US Veterans!

Actual submissions are below:

Veterans Appreciation 2021 Submission from Brad Susany on behalf of his Veteran and brother, Casey Susany - Navy.

"This is my submission for my baby brother Casey Susany. I attached 2 photos- 1 of his time in the Navy and one with me.

He served 10 years active duty. His time as a Navy corpsman had him stationed in Camp Lejeune NC, outside of Annapolis MD, San Diego CA and Pittsburgh PA. He served tours in the Middle East and Haiti.

After leaving the military he became a General Manager with Aaron's. Last October his life changed forever. Him & his wife Jessica while riding a motorcycle were hit by a deer on 680. Most people don't survive this accident. Multiple skull fractures and brain bleeding. This man from all the things instilled in him serving our country is a fighter! From learning to breathe on his own to walking on his own to talking again. This process has been long and hard but he's always stayed positive. Fast forward to today which is a little over a year after his accident. He's back in the workforce starting at the bottom as a cashier at Giant Eagle. It's going to take time for him to get back to that 60K/year job again but nobody works harder than him and I know that he'll get there some day. Winning a fire pit from Ohio Flame would be a big deal for him and would mean the world to me as his older brother who wrote this submission to you. He's my hero ❤."

Casey Susany - NAVY

Thank you for your submission, Brad.  Congratulations to Casey for being one of our 2021 Veterans Appreciation winners, and THANK YOU for your Service!


Veterans Appreciation 2021 Submission from Jennifer Wade on behalf of his Veteran and husband, LCpl Jacob A. Wade - Marines.

"I would like to submit an honor of my husband,  Marine Corps Veteran, Lance Corporal Jacob A Wade. I would like to honor this special man for his hard work he performed in service. LClp Wade served with a search and rescue squadron VMR-1 Roadrunners, at MCAS Cherry Point, NC. His time may of been short due to a injury caused from a tow motor falling on him, but he still got up on his own power afterwards to prove he is a tough Marine no matter the pain he was in. He also served as a suicide prevention Marine for those who needed the help as they were in their worst and still continues to offer this service to family and friends today.  This man may have not served in a war but that don't mean the hard work he completed on state side doesn't go unseen by the people around him.  

I would also like to note his awards and accomplishments: Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal. Brown Belt in Marine Corps Martial Arts, Multiple Meritorious Masts, Multiple LOAs. Expert Rifle and Pistol qualifier. I would also like to clarify he was stationed at MCAS Cherry Point as a ground supporting equipment mechanic and electrician, working on a HE-46.  The second picture attached is LClp Jacob being hoisted from the water as a drill they use for a training operation. 

No matter the winner outcome I am blessed to have this Marine in my life and to continue being there for him and all the others who have served or is still serving our great country! God Bless. ❤️🤍💙"

Jacob Wade - Marines

Thank you for your submission, Jennifer.  Congratulations to Jacob for being one of our 2021 Veterans Appreciation winners, and THANK YOU for your Service!


Veterans Appreciation 2021 Submission from Brenda Noble on behalf of her Veteran and cousin, Joseph "Woody" Woodard - Army.

"I have a family of Veterans: my father, brother, and husband. All are special to me and deserve honor and recognition. But the special person I would like to nominate for this contest is my cousin: Joseph “Woody” Woodard. Like so many other young men during that time period, Joe went to Vietnam right after finishing high school in Kettering, Ohio. By age 19, he was flying Cobra attack helicopters in Vietnam.   He selflessly put his life on the line day after day to protect our freedom, and even re-enlisted to be back in active combat for almost 2 years (1970-1972). 

Joe was a gunship Cobra Helicopter pilot in the US Army.  He was with the 361st Pink Panther’s Aviation Transport. He very actively supported RT’s (Recon Times) from MACV-SOG after a problem had occurred “across the fence”. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Valor, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with the Silver Star, along with many other medals. He was a true hero. 

Up until a few years ago, Joe continued to fly and save the lives of others. His career of flying, rescuing and saving others continued for over 50 years. Up until a few years ago, he flew Air 1 Emergency helicopters, treating and transporting severe trauma patients (Las Vegas; Tyler, Texas and Florida. 

 Joe has had many accolades and awards throughout the years. In his later years, he was awarded the 2013 Florida EMS Pilot of the Year award at the 23rd Annual Excellence in Medical Services Award. This was a particularly moving ceremony, as several pilots he flew with in Vietnam surprised him at the ceremony. 

 There have been numerous articles published about him. Here are just a few links:

 It is with great pride and pleasure that I nominate my heroic cousin Joe for consideration of this award.  Thank you for your consideration."

Joseph Woodard - Army

Thank you for your submission, Brenda.  Congratulations to Joseph for being one of our 2021 Veterans Appreciation winners, and THANK YOU for you Service!


Veterans Appreciation 2021 Submission from Kayla Wills on behalf of her Veteran and son, Captain Zachary Wills - Air Force.

"I would like to submit my son Zachary Wills, Captain U.S. Air Force for the Veterans Day customized Liberty Fire Pit offer.  Zach is not only a US Air Force captain, he married a U.S. Air Force veteran in May of 2121.  Zach is special to me because he is serving his country in multiple ways.  First he chose to  attend medical school and become a doctor of Osteopathic medicine through the military.  No one in our family is a physician so we didn’t realize how tough the road was to becoming a doctor.  Trying to maintain your fitness for the military, finish medical school, and cope with a pandemic has made the task even more difficult. Zach himself got COVID early on while caring for others in Sandusky, Ohio at Firelands Regional Medical Center. Now he is in the middle of one of the states experiencing a huge surge in COVID cases and deaths.  

Our Veterans need quality care and his desire to serve our country long term by taking care of our military families is admirable.  This year Zach has been one of the many physicians risking their own lives  by taking care of severely sick COVID patients.  The increase in the number of patients, how young they were, how severe their cases were, and how many survive has been a very emotional experience for  a young doctor.  

I am proud that Zach is serving our country.  I am also proud that his ultimate goal is to care for military families as they go through cancer or  an extended chronic illnesses through palliative care. 

As long as I can remember, Zach has wanted to personally help others.  

Our family has lived in Ohio since 2002.  Zach attended school at Ohio University Heritage College of medicine, and his first  military assignment was to move to San Antonio Texas  a few weeks after graduating to begin his residency at SAMMC in the heat of the pandemic. With ever changing new guidelines he is learning so much so quickly. 

 I would love for Zach and his new wife to be gifted a the Ohio Flame Liberty fire pit. It would be the perfect wedding gift for this military couple!  They were not able to invite all their family and friends to their wedding because of COVID limitations so that gave them the idea to have an outdoor nature themed  wedding at a state park with only immediate family and friends.  Part of that experience was building a fire in a fire pit the night before the wedding and have a BBQ cookout.  We sat around the fire getting to know his wife’s family before they started their life together. 

 Zach and Bri both love our country and would appreciate the Liberty fire pit.  

 Zach loves the outdoors and it also offers an outlet for the stressors that military life will bring.  When Zach was growing up, we would often build a fire in the backyard or while camping.  My husband and I myself were looking to purchase one of your fire pits today and that is where I saw the contest.  I think it is perfect for Zach.   Thank you for honoring our servicemen and women in this manner.  Thank you for being a MADE in the USA company which is another reason I came to your website. 

 As a newlywed, Zach doesn’t have a fire pit so I know he would use it for many years to come.

Zach got the inspiration and drive to become a physician because several immediate family members had extended illnesses. Some could still be here today if they had received better primary care.  Zach’s aspiration is to make a difference in the life of his patients; that is why he is drawn to both oncology and palliative care.  His father is a stage 4 colorectal cancer survivor.  His grandmother died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism and his grandfather was a double amputee . Better healthcare could have helped his grandparents have a better quality of life and that is why he wants to focus on helping those with chronic illnesses or injuries. In the military that could mean attending to either their physical or mental needs as well.  I would appreciate your consideration of Zach and his wife Kaitlyn.  Thank you so much.

Here is a picture of Zach as requested.

Please let me know if you choose Zach, he would be so thrilled.  We live outside of Cincinnati Ohio. Thank you for supporting our veterans!"

Zachary Wills - Air Force

Thank you for your submission, Kayla.  Congratulations to Joseph for being one of our 2021 Veterans Appreciation winners, and THANK YOU for you Service!