2019 Veteran Honoree

2019 Veteran Honoree: Oscar C. Decker

Paver Pavers - Section C, D, G, J, N & Q
Veteran First Name Oscar
Veteran Middle Name C.
Veteran Last Name Decker
Date of Birth 10/10/1924
Highest Rank Major General
Branch of Army Yes
Unit(s) 20th Tank Battalion, 20th Armored Div.; 317th Tank Battalion; 82nd Reconnaisance Battalion of 2nd Armored Division; U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command
Active Service from Year 02/23/1943 to 03/11/1946
Active Service to Year 07/05/1951 to 07/01/1983
Guard Service from Year 10/11/1949
Guard Service to Year 07/05/1951
Reserve Service from Year 03/11/1946
Reserve Service to Year 10/11/1949
World War II Yes
Korean War Yes
Vietnam War Yes
Overseas Service Input Box 1 Germany; Iran; Vietnam
Distinguished Service Medal Yes
Legion of Merit Yes
Presidential Unit Citation Yes
Other Decoration Names 1 Legion of Merit (3)
Township of residence entering service OTHER
Other Township of residence entering service Nebraska
Township of current residence or at time of death Paris
Church St. John's Lutheran, Marysville, OH
Other School Battle Creek, Nebraska
Source 1 Veteran form submitted 01/07/2005 by veteran, Oscar C. Decker, Jr.; No DD-214 recorded as of 10/12/2007 in Union County Recorder's Office;
Source 2 65rh wedding announcement, MJT 11/2/2009

On September 20, 2019, Major General Oscar Decker, a great American patriot, quietly passed away at the age of 94. He was surrounded by his wife and children in his daughter’s home in Haymarket, VA. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with military honors on January 23, 2020.  

Major General Oscar Decker served continuously in the United States Army for over 40 years; he served 35 years on Active Duty, with over 5 years spent in either the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard.  His distinguished career included both enlisted and commissioned officer service which spanned three wars, numerous conflicts, including almost 8 years of duty overseas.  He served as a General Officer on Active Duty for almost 10 years.   

Oscar Decker was born on October 10, 1924 in Moorefield, Nebraska. He enlisted into the U.S. Army on February 23, 1943. He joined the Armor Branch and served in a Tank Battalion in Europe during WWII.  On November 8, 1944, Corporal Decker married the lovely Ella Mae (Babe) Tillson. On March 11, 1946, he left Active Duty as a Sergeant, and immediately joined the Army Reserve, the Army National Guard, and Army ROTC while finishing his studies at the University of Nebraska.  On July 5, 1951, Oscar Decker graduated from college and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps.  He immediately went back on Active Duty serving in Armor and Ordnance units, assignments throughout the United States, Germany, Iran, and Vietnam until his retirement on June 30, 1983.  In Vietnam, he commanded a battalion and saw action during the 1968 TET Offensive. He was assigned to the Pentagon twice, once as a staff officer for the Chief of Staff of the Army, and later as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations and Logistics. The highlight of General Decker’s career was as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Command leading over 6,000 personnel for the research, development, and production of the Abrams Main Battle Tank, the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and the HUMVEE, and several other new generation trucks and vehicles greatly impacting upon the combat effectiveness of the Army.  Among his many military decorations, he was awarded the Legion of Merit four times and was bestowed the Distinguished Service Medal. 

Upon retirement from the Army in 1983, Oscar Decker moved to Marysville, Ohio, where for the next 33+ years he gave his talents and leadership in the service of his church, his community, and his county. He committed himself to the welfare of all veterans and their families by being active in veteran organizations and assisting the Union County Veterans Service Commission.  In 2003, he spearheaded the formation of the Union County Military Family Support Group providing support and recognition for the ever-increasing troops deploying from Union County and for their families left behind.  He also astutely chaired the Union County Remembrance Committee overseeing the construction of the Union County Veterans Monument and Plaza dedicated on May 19, 2007.  He truly was a “Voice for the Stone.” He provided leadership for many significant civic and economic projects for Marysville and Union County assisting such organizations as the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Marysville School System.  Oscar Decker’s contributions to Union County were so numerous that the debt owed to him can never be repaid. However in 2008, he was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, and on September 11, 2012, a new Marysville Fire Station on County Home Road was named for him. Thus, the citizens of Union County, Ohio are now remembering and honoring this great soldier, veteran, and friend during this “Voice from the Stone” Veterans Day Ceremony on November 10, 2019.