City honors a native son

    A Decatur native and Bellmont graduate has reached a new plateau in the United States Navy and this city is adding its congratulations.    Tony Frey, a 24-year Navy veteran, will be promoted to the rank of captain this Saturday at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. He is the son of John (a former city council member here) and Kathy Frey, longtime Decatur residents who now live in St. George, Utah.
    Tony, a 1984 graduate of Bellmont High School and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his family reside in Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville.
    Mayor John Schultz brought the promotion to city council's attention at its meeting last week, and said the city would be sending a letter of congratulations and a special coin to Capt.-elect Frey.
    The letter was drafted by Councilman Cam Collier, an officer with the Naval Reserve, who said of the promotion: "It's a pretty big deal. He has been selected from his peers by his peers."
    The next step up is the position of admiral, Collier added
    The letter to Frey begins, "With sincere appreciation for his selfless service to our country and gratitude for his tireless devotion to duty therein, the City of Decatur wishes to recognize Decatur native Anthony A. Frey for his recent selection to the rank of Captain in the United States Navy."
    The letter notes that he served as a Naval Flight Officer in the P-3C Orion, the Navy, a premier patrol and reconnaissance platform.    
    "...(he) has served in and commanded numerous operational units in support of naval aviation patrol and reconnaissance and, more recently, the Space and Naval Warfare Command," the letter continues. Capt.-select Frey currently commands Naval Reserve space and Naval Warfare Unit 303 in Mayport, Florida.
    "Having served his country faithfully for over two decades and having been selected for a highly competitive promotion from amongst and by his peers, Captain (select) Frey's accomplishments are truly worthy of recognition," the letter from Mayor Schultz states.
    A "Challenge Coin," part of a military tradition, is given in recognition of special achievement. So the mayor included in his letter a 175th Decatur anniversary coin with his letter to Frey.
    "Congratulations on your promotion. You proudly represent Decatur and your country. Job well done," the letter concludes.

    A letter read by the mayor at the meeting was from Jim Franze, whose last official day with the city police department is Saturday. Franze has accepted a position as a deputy with the sheriff's department and has been working for that department for several weeks.
    In his letter, Franze thanked former mayor Fred Isch for giving him the opportunity to join the force, the current mayor and council for all the training and support he received, and offered praise for the city police department and its officers.
    Franze served for a number of years as the department's canine officer, but it no longer has a canine.
    Bill Karbach, who heads the city's cleanup detail, said he wanted to publicly thank Franze for all he had done for that effort. "Jim was quite an asset; he was enthusiastic about cleaning up our city," Karbach said.
    Meanwhile, the city department has a vacancy and Police Chief Ken Ketzler said at the meeting that he has received 60 applications from five states.