Army sergeant killed in Vietnam awarded posthumous honors for his sacrifice

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CLINTON, Ohio — For most of her life, she knew very little about her father, however, Thursday night, the daughter of an army sergeant killed in Vietnam accepted posthumous honors, recognizing his sacrifice.

Dozens gathered for the awards ceremony at the Ohio Veterans’ Memorial Park in Clinton to honor the service and sacrifice of Sgt. Ronald Poland.

Sgt. Poland, who grew up in Canal Fulton, was killed in action on September 5, 1970 while serving in Vietnam. He died at the age of 23, just two months after he was drafted.
His rifle, helmet, boots and dog tags were displayed as a reminder of the fallen soldier.

“Dog tags, once affixed, this memorial is no longer a collection of a soldier’s equipment, it is now a personal memorial, it’s a symbol of a life, a solemn reminder of a comrade, family member, friend and father,” said a sergeant during the ceremony.

“I don’t know a whole lot about him,” said Sgt. Poland’s daughter, Tina Hoffman.

Tina Hoffman was only three years old when her father was drafted. Her parents had divorced and she was adopted by her stepfather. She says she knew very little about her biological dad.

“I didn’t want to see him go, no…nobody wants to see anybody go to Vietnam, it was a sad time for everybody,” said Tina’s mother, Bertram Sickels.

Over the years, Tina learned more about her father’s service.

Then, last November, her aunt learned that Tina’s stepmother wanted her to have her father’s medals, which were presented to her during this ceremony.

“I just felt like since the step mother was willing to give her the medals, I just thought it was time she knew where she came from,” said Tina’s aunt, Vickie Brown.

Family and friends say Sgt. Ronald Poland was proud to serve and now his daughter is proud she can now honor his service.

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