Shelia Burner and Jason McSherry were honored as the 2014 Kosciusko County Republican Hall of Fame recipients Friday evening.
U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski was the keynote speaker for the event, held at Champaign Jam, 2517 Center St., Warsaw.
“I was just not expecting it,” Burner said noting when they mentioned her husband, Judge Robert Burner and his motorcycle, she was shocked. Burner has worked on various committees and projects for the Republican party over the years. It was through her husband, she said she became involved.
McSherry, who it is said has been serving the party since he was in a crib, was also shocked. “It is usually a way to cap off your career. Now I feel I have to work that much harder,” said McSherry. McSherry who has served as precinct committeeman, county clerk for four years, Seward Township Advisory Board for six years and was Mike Pence’s Indiana coordinator, has done whatever he has been asked to do. “I feel I have not done that much, other than be consistent.”
Walorski focused her speech not only on the ebola pandemic, but also on Isis and the Veterans Affairs issues. She spoke of several life changing events in her life – being in Romania on Sept. 11 and not knowing if she would ever see her family or her country again and hearing horror stories from men and women who served their country, how their VA health care fell through the cracks.
She stated another life changing moment came hearing of a botched health care of a young veteran, battling stage 4 colon cancer. “While most were saying they were so sorry, I elected to get in gear and figure a way to move mountains.” She did so by calling for the resignation of the VA secretary of affairs.
Walorski spoke of the importance of military service to Hoosiers, with a population of 6.2 million people, the state has the fourth largest national guard in the nation. She said serving the country is in a Hoosier’s DNA and it is “wrong for them to come home and we renege on a promise as a country.”
She told of a local soldier, who was told the lump he had was nothing more than a muscle spasm. Instead his body was ravaged with cancer and was fighting for his life. She made a call to Robert “Bob” McDonald, secretary of Veterans Affairs. The Marine was given the treatment he needed. While he is suffering from a bizarre type of cancer, he is responding to that treatment.
Walorski stated she cannot standby and watch people be numbers. She puts her foot in front of a freight train and stops it. She stressed the need for the government to win the war on terrorism, to once again make the nation great. She stated there is a comeback coming but it needs to hastened, not slowed down.
She concluded she will return to Washington with so much pride about what Indiana is doing as a state, that others cannot conceive. “We are a land of Hoosiers who are so bound to liberty and freedom, they go in and fight. They are the first in and often the last ones out. But that is who we are.
“… We are the greatest nation on the face of the earth … we are going to change this nation. We’re going to free our companies to be able to produce jobs. We’re going to defeat an enemy that needs to be defeated and we’re going to protect our shores from diseases and pandemics that never should have crossed the waters.”
Before the close of the evening Randy Girod, county chairman, announced upcoming events: Oct. 23, a lunch with Marlin Stutzman at the party headquarters from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. hosted by the Curt Nisley for State Representative campaign committee; the Republican State Wide Candidate Bus Tour arrival on Oct. 24 at approximately 3:30 p.m. and Governor Mike Pence leading an old fashioned campaign rally on the east side of the courthouse at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1. A lunch will be served at 12:15 p.m.