Local Veteran received service award
AMY DAVIDSON PHOTOS
Jerald “Butch” Jahnigen, 92 of Versailles went to fight for our Country in the Korean War from 1952-1954, right out of high school. He met his wife Helen and married her in 1950 before being drafted to the U.S. Army and still with her today. They have two sons together, Gerald and Gary. Gerald stated to The Versailles Republican, “We have always been in the farming business. I have helped my dad right out of high school. Up until last year my dad was still bailing hay at the age of 91.” The Jahnigens raise corn and soybeans as well. Gerald’s son Tyler has now taken a role to help continue the farming business.
Butch has always loved helping the community and remodeled the shelter house at the Legion Parkafter it had burnt down in 1955. The shelter house was renamed after him, Butch Jahnigen Shelter House. He told The Versailles Republican, “I would like to really just like to thank all the veterans and anyone else who also volunteered and helped me remodel the shelter house. They put in a lot of hard work.”
On Friday Nov. 11, Veterans Day Jerald “Butch” Jahnigen was greatly surprised by his peers and South Ripley Social Studies Club for lifetime services to his country and community was presented a plaque during the Veterans program. Jesse Oliver, of South Ripley, made a video of Butch to show everyone why he deserved the award with all the services he has done military and for the community, especially the Versailles American Legion Post 173. He is a 70-year-old member of Versailles American Legion Post 173 and past commander and Auxiliary with his wife Helen.
After the program The Versailles Republican asked Butch what his role was in the military. He stated, “I was Gunnery in the U.S. Army. Had lots of different guns. I was strictly military and fighting for my country.” When he was returning home, his Coronel gave all the soldiers a Journal from his fight and journey during the Korean War. He was honored to receive something like that to hold onto till this day.
Butch Jahnigen is known as a hero not only for his country but community and received the plaque given to him from South Ripley with great honor.