By John Estridge, Editor

It is rare that a household produces one Lt. Colonel in the Army.

Franklin County has one that has produced two.

Residents Jerald and Linda Vaughan have two children who are now both Lt. Colonels in the Army: Jeremy Vaughan and Christina Perera.

Perera's promotion ceremony was held Sept. 7 at Whitehall, Ohio, while Vaughan's ceremony was Feb. 3, 2018. It was held in the Franklin Circuit Courtroom. Both Perera and her brother are West Point graduates. Another sibling, Zach Vaughan, graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Zach had the decision on which academy to attend, he receive appointments and congressional nominations to both West Point and USAFA, he decided -- after many discussions with his siblings -- to go Air Force because of his dream to be a pilot, which he is,” Linda Vaughan, the mother of the Vaughan children said.

“Service was always important in our family, both grandfathers and Jerry are all Veterans,” Vaughan continued. “Service to community and country was discussed. I really can't speak to why Christina decided on a military career, but she wanted a great education, and it was a full-ride scholarship paid by her five-year military commitment. She loves her Army family. Jeremy and Logan just really enjoyed the stories, and they always wanted to be an Army officer.”

“Going to West Point seemed like an exciting and exotic choice for college,” Perera said. “And it was, but at West Point, you also thought about things bigger than yourself. Service and using the gifts that brought you to West Point for the greater good of the country was a concept ingrained in all the cadets. Even after getting out of the active army, that concept didn't go away.”

According to the promotion program for Perera, she was commissioned in 1995 as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Financial Corps after graduating from West Point. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in economics. After completing the Finance Officer Basic Court, Perera was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. From there, he accepted a special assignments as a protocol officer for HQ U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) at Fort Shafter Hawaii.

After a successful completion of that assignment, Perera moved to chief, Travel Pay at Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) at Ford Island.

After completing the Finance Captain's Career Course and Combined Arms Services and Staff School, Perera was assigned to DFAS at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.

Once Perera successfully completed her active Army commitment, Perera transferred into the U.S. Army Reserve and served as the Detachment Commander for the Selective Service System in St. Louis, Missouri.

Once she worked there, Perera took a break from the service to be a mother of four children.

“After my active time, I served two years in the Reserves, then (I) took a long break of seven years to focus on raising my family as Johann (Perera, her husband) had to move several times with his civilian job,” Perera said. “Once my husband was more stable at a location, and my children were older, it was natural for me to find a way to serve once again.”

She currently works with the Great Lakes Training Division under the 84th Training Command.

“The Training Command is charged with the training of all reserve units,” Perera said. “Specifically, the Great Lakes Training Division trains and evaluates reserve units battalion and brigade command and staff. When reserve units conduct their annual training every year, my unit observes, trains and evaluates those units.”

Among her awards and decorations are: the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

“COL (Colonel Gene) Ressler, my boss, presided over the ceremony,” Perera said. “My husband, Johann Perera and grandma Ruby Beckman and mom and dad pinned the new rank on. Jeremy gave me the Oath of Office.”

Perera said she was thrilled with the promotion.

“After my active time, I served two years in the Reserves, then took a long break of seven years to focus on raising my family as Johann had to move several times with his civilian job,” Perera said. “When I came back into the reserves, I wasn't sure I would be able to complete my mandatory professional schooling in order to get LTC. When the list came out this year, I was very excited. I have more to contribute to the Army, and I'm glad to have the time to do it.

“My promotion was a very special day, and I was excited to be able to share it with my family,” she continued.

“We are just so proud of their hard work and dedication to our country,” Linda Vaughan said. “Jeremy is active duty and had served three middle east deployments and really deserved his promotion, but Christina's is even more special, because she served active duty years, reserve years, took years off to be a very active mother of four, had the opportunity to go back into the active reserves, worked so very hard, had to be away from her family, and she deserved this so much. And having Jeremy there to reaffirm her oath of office was just the best day ever. You know she did the original commissioning ceremony to second lieutenant for all three of her brothers.”