Westlake native, Vietnam pilot and first African American in space to receive Ohio’s Distinguished Service Medal

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Editor’s Note: FOX 8 featured Col. Guion Bluford during Black History Month in 2013. You can see that story by watching the video above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine presented Col. Guion Bluford with the Ohio Distinguished Service Medal Thursday.

Col. Bluford is a Westlake native.

He flew 144 combat missions in Vietnam as a pilot in the United States Air Force.

He was also the first African American astronaut to fly in space in 1983.

“Your commitment and dedication over the course of your career in aviation are a tremendous inspiration to generations of Ohioans,” said Governor DeWine during the medal presentation at the Ohio Statehouse today. “As NASA prepares for future missions to space, the next generation of astronauts will be looking to follow in your footsteps.”

The Ohio Distinguished Service Medal is Ohio’s highest non-combat decoration for service.

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