Each year the Crawfordsville Strawberry Festival takes time to honor and pay tribute to “hometown heroes.” They are local law enforcement personnel, firefighters, emergency responders and military personnel. This year the focus is on the military and will take place at 6:15 p.m. Friday.

This year’s featured speaker Major General (Ret) R. Martin Umbarger, former Adjutant General of Indiana. As adjutant general, his primary focus was to lead the more than 14,000 soldiers and airmen of the Indiana National Guard in their preparation for both state and federal missions.

Umbarger served 46 years in the Indiana National Guard, retiring in May 2015, as adjutant general, a position to which he was first appointed to by Gov. Joe Kernan in early 2004. He was reappointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in December 2004 and again by Vice President Mike Pence, then Gov. Pence, in December 2012.

As the adjutant general, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center as a nationally recognized training facility for both military and civilian first responders.

Umbarger is a 1969 graduate of the University of Evansville and a 1997 graduate of the United States Army War College. He is president of Umbarger Agribusiness, a family-owned business for more than 77 years located in Bargersville. He is married and has three children.

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