Charles and Karen Rubey have donated a print depicting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Jefferson County Health Center.
They did so to honor the seven men buried in Jefferson County who died fighting in the Vietnam War. Their names are listed on a pair of plaques below the print.
JCHC Community Relations Manager Wanda Bagby thanked the Rubeys for the framed print and said it will soon hang in the south hallway of the health center.
The print is of the painting “Reflections” by Lee Teter. It depicts a man touching the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Where his hand touches the wall of 58,000 names, a faint image can be seen of a soldier touching his hand in return, surrounded by other soldiers wearing green helmets and camouflage. The image suggests that the man is remembering his comrades who didn’t come home.
The names of the seven local servicemen are inscribed on the plaques along with the date they died, and in one case the date of an injury that led to death. They are:
Dennis L. O’Dell, died Nov. 11, 1967
James L. Miller, died Jan. 21, 1969
Michael L. Zappa, died Feb. 25, 1969
Jerry A. Frakes, died Aug. 16, 1969
Douglas E. Peterson, seriously injured Oct. 1, 1969, and later died from his injuries
Robert B. Haney Jr., died May 3, 1970
John D. Skirvin, died July 8, 1970
Of those seven, four were in the same graduating class at Fairfield High School. Miller, Frakes, Haney and Skirvin all graduated in 1967. O’Dell graduated from FHS the prior year.
As a member of the Army National Guard, Charles served on the honor guard at five of the seven funerals. He and Karen wanted to do something to remember the local soldiers who gave their life, and that’s why they decided to donate the framed print to the health center.
“We wanted it in a high-trafficked area,” Charles said.
“We know of no other place in town with this print,” Karen said.
Charles spent 43 years in the military, joining the Army National Guard in 1959 before retiring in 2002 as Chief Warrant Officer Five. He was employed by the Guard full-time for 27 years, and could have retired in 1992, but decided to stay a decade more.