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Eric Toth honored on Sunday, April 29, 2018

Rolling Thunder project. A distinctive sign now marks the home of Purple Heart recipient on Mitchell Edwards Road, Sulphur Well
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By Chris Lagermann

Eric Toth was a member of the Kentucky Army National Guard and was the only Metcalfe County soldier killed in the line of duty in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He was driving a Humvee and encountered a vehicle-born improvised explosive device along a main supply route in Baghdad, Iraq. He had been deployed with Tompkinsville-based A Battery of the 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery United in January 2005 and was killed on March 30, 2005 at the age of 21.

Eric's mother Brenda Paronto and her husband Steve were there for the dedication ceremony along with his widow Andrea, Brenda's sister Barbara Boston and her husband Ron from Mount Sterling; Jerry Gassaway (who served with the 623rd from 1975 to 1995 and is a past president and current senior vice president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6281 in Edmonton; and some of Toth's siblings, nieces and nephews.



Getting the sign installed honoring Eric was done by the Kentucky Chapter 2 of the Rolling Thunder (a veteran's support group that strives to get recognition for military service members as part of the Purple Heart Highways program).

The two-sided sign is on the end of Mitchell Edwards Road and Highway 70 at Sulphur Well just down the road from the Lighthouse Restaurant. The location is very near the home where Eric grew up with his mother, and where she and her husband Steve still live. She'll be able to see the sign every day.


This story was posted on 2018-05-01 16:13:52
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Crowd gathers to honor Eric Toth on Sunday, April 30, 2018



2018-04-30 - Sulphur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann.
Just a part of the crowd at the Sign Dedication on Sunday, April 30, 2018.

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Honoring Eric Toth on Sunday, April 29, 2018



2018-04-30 - Sulplhur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann.
Eric's mother, Brenda Paronto, poses with some of the folks who helped get the sign installed. Mike Wilson, commander of the Glasgow DAV chapter and a member of the Rolling Thunder stand to the far right. Wilson gave the opening remarks and Bill Lagermann offered the Invocation.

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Chapter 20 of the DAV perform 21 gun salute



2018-04-30 - Sulphur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann.
Chapter 20 of the DAV, Glasgow KY performed the 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps.

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Brenda Paronto with Greg Wilson, Ron Devore, and Bill Lagermann



2018-04-30 - Sulphur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann.
Metcalfe Judge Executive Greg Wilson with Brenda Paronto, Ron Devore (Korean War POW and Purple Heart Recipient) and Commander Bill Lagermann of the Edmonton-Metcalfe County American Legion, Post 65.

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Toth sign ceremony: Judge Wilson, Eugene Moore, Brenda Paronto



2018-04-30 - Sulphur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann.
This gentleman with Judge Wilson and Brenda is Eugene Moore. He is an active member of the DAV Color Guard and also holds a Purple Heart and the French Legion of Merit. It was a great honor to have both Mr. Moore and Mr. Devore there for this special day.

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Toth sign ceremony: Brenda Paronto and sister Barbara Boston



2018-04-30 - Sulphur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann. Brenda Paronto is shown with her sister Barbara Boston who came from Mount Sterling for the dedication.
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Toth sign ceremony: Mrs. Paronto and Principal Kelly Bell



2018-04-30 - Sulphur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann.
Mrs. Paronto is shown with Kelly Bell, Principal of the Metcalfe County High School. Mrs. Bell remembers Eric Toth often at different events at the school and helps to keep his memory alive. The Paronto's donated many items from Eric's service career to the High School where they are on permanent display, so the students can appreciate his sacrifice. Eric was married to his high school sweetheart Andrea Brooks. She is since remarried and is now Andrea Vincent. She was pleased with the sign and believes it will help keep Eric's memory alive. She stated that Toth was "the sweetest man you'd ever meet in your entire life". "Anybody that met him would love him."

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Toth sign ceremony: Large group posing with the new sign



2018-05-01 - Sulphur Well, KY - Photo by Chris Lagermann.
This photo shows Eric's mother, Brenda Paronto, with Roy Dial, chairman of the board of directors for Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 2 on her left and Metcalfe County Judge Executive Greg Wilson on her right with the new sign honoring her son. Also in the photo on the far left is Jerry Gassoway, senior vice president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6281, Edmonton; members of the National Guard, Steve Paronto (Eric's step-father) (a Vietnam veteran); Barbara and Ron Boston (Eric's aunt and uncle), Ron Devore (Korean War POW and Purple Heart recipient) and Bill Lagermann, Commander of American Legion Post 65 Edmonton-Metcalfe County KY.

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