FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND OUR COUNTRY MOURN THE LOSS
On January 2, 2016, Bernard “Bernie” Jarboe died at his home in Greenback, TN with his wife Fran, who took exceptional care of him, by his side. Bernie and Fran previously lived in Breckinridge County, KY and at that time he worked for Joe Jarboe Surveying. His parents, Mabel and Bernard Jarboe (a WW II Veteran) lived in Breckinridge County until their deaths and many of his extended family and friends still reside here. Bernie’s Brother, Bill, a combat-wounded Vietnam Vet (Debbie) lives in Campbellsville, KY and his Sister Betty (Larry, a Vietnam Veteran) live in Matthews, NC.
Bernie was partially raised in Louisville but spent much of his life around his family and friends near Hardinsburg. After graduating from St. Xavier High School in 1961, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as small unit leader in the infantry in Vietnam in 65-66. Bernie earned the Silver Star, our Nation’s 3rd highest decoration, for heroism in combat in Vietnam where he saved the lives of others and accomplished his unit’s mission through his exemplary leadership and at great personal risk. Bernie is truly a real American hero and even though we hear the term “hero” loosely tossed around to include many groups these days, few have been recognized for the true heroism, sacrifice, and service like Bernie Jarboe. [To digress, if everyone in a certain group, military unit, or profession are called heroes, then no one is a hero—just like honor students—if everyone is an honor student, then no one is an honor student. Blanket hero designations by unofficial sources or organizations hold no merit whatsoever.] Bernie Jarboe’s life-saving actions and exceptional leadership were truly heroic as determined by Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps in the 60’s. To this end, we honor, pay tribute to, and mourn the loss of a genuine hero and patriot, Bernard K. Jarboe.
In the 60s many avoided military service and the possibility of combat in Vietnam through various mechanisms. All who made these decisions must live with them. Bernie Jarboe volunteered for the Marine Corps and Vietnam and early in his life he earned the title Marine and the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. Bernie did what others did not want to do or were unable to do—he voluntarily stepped into the fire of combat and service to our Country. While others pursued their degrees, personal relationships, and acquired their homes and offices, Bernie Jarboe served and defended our Nation and our freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution at grave personal risk. In many ways Bernie is representative of all Marines who served before him, those who serve now, and those who will serve in the future in this elite brother/sisterhood. In addition to being a very modest hero and warrior, Bernie Jarboe was a man of honor, integrity, selflessness, and the best friend anyone could ever hope to have.
We, as a Country and as the family and friends of Bernie Jarboe, have lost a great Marine, Patriot, and a true American hero, who has set the example for all to follow. RIP good friend and may you have fair winds and following seas.
E. A. Shrader
Sgt., USMC, Ret
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