Purple Heart recipient receives Veteran of the Year Award

December 3, 2011 by  

Robert Jones, a Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, was honored in a ceremony at Westbrook Veterans Memorial Park in Canton on Friday, November 11. During the Veterans’ Day ceremony, Jones was recognized as the 2011 Veteran of the Year for Stark County.

Mr. Jones, who currently serves as the vice president for the Ohio Military Museum in Massillon, was 23 years old at the time he was called to serve in the United States Army. At that time, he was working as an apprentice at a print company in Canton , where he assisted in a variety of printing services.

After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1969, Jones returned briefly to Canton, but later moved to arizona, got married, and continued his career at a printing company.

Mr. Jones states that he was a “closet veteran” for many years after returning to the United States and did not speak much of his experiences. He says that he knows veterans who are still fighting the Vietnam War in their minds. When he tells them “Welcome home,” they respond that they aren’t coming home.

Now, more than 43 years after coming back to the United States, Mr. Jones participates in and volunteers for many veterans’ activities and ceremonies, including parades and the funerals of fellow veterans. He assists veterans with benefits questions and founded the VFW Post in Massillon. Jones also served as a commander for the Army and Navy Garrison #1984.