If you’re lucky enough to know Bill Booth, you know how
committed to service he is. Bill has spent his life serving his fellow
Carpenters and Toledo-area union members, his community, and his country.
How fitting that, on October 12, Bill was chosen to lay a wreath
at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The ‘No Greater
Good’ organization sponsored the ceremony, as it does on 25-30 special
occasions each year. October 12 was the anniversary of the bombing of the USS
Cole in Yemen.
The wreath-laying was “one of the great honors of my life,”
A retired member and business representative of UBC Local
351 (formerly 1581) in Toledo, Ohio, Bill is a Viet Nam veteran with deep ties
to the military. His grandfather battled in the Argonne Forest during World War
I and his father was at Iwo Jima in World War II.
“As I laid the wreath, my thoughts were with them, as well
as two of my childhood friends who died in Viet Nam,” Booth said.
But ‘service’ means more than military service for Booth.
Since he became a business representative for the Brotherhood in 1982, Bill has
been a dedicated political activist, setting an example for his fellow members.
He has spoken out in city halls and county commissions, and pounded the
pavement for many candidates.
“I had not been politically active before 1982, but I
started participating and realized how important politics is—not just for
Carpenter issues like prevailing wage, safety, and Workers’ Comp, but for
everything that happens in our communities,” Booth said.
“Being politically active became a part of who I am.”
Booth expanded his involvement after retiring in 2000. He
served a five-year term on the Ohio Elections Commission, and in 2008 he was
appointed to the Henry County Board of Elections, where he still serves.
Booth made the special trip with his entire family,
including his wife, Cheryl, their three daughters, and five grandchildren, plus
son-in-law Ryan Schwiebert, an active member of Local 351. Before the wreath-laying, the group visited
the UBC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters at the foot of Capitol Hill.