News Releases

Honoring a Hero - SGT Jerry Jarrett

Post Date:09/28/2023

The Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs Office and Rep Mike Thompson (District 33) conducted a Silver Star presentation to Mrs. Melva Jarrett, the spouse of the late SGT Jerry Jarrett, in Bonner Springs, KS on 25 Sept 23.

SGT Jerry Jarrett was assigned to Delta Company, 3d Battalion (Airmobile), 187th Airborne Infantry and awarded the Silver Star for his actions 7-8 October 1968 in Vietnam. Over the last 50 years the certificate was lost and Mr. Jarrett tried to obtain a copy of the award but had been unsuccessful. He passed away in 2019 but Mrs. Jarrett continued to seek assistance with the award. As a result of the dedicated and persistent efforts of Representative Mike Thompson and LTC (R) Rob Leicht (KCVAO) the U.S. Army corrected SGT Jarrett’s records and recreated the certificate; this week, in front of a room filled with friends and family, at the Bonner Springs City Council Meeting, Representative Thompson and the Director, Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs Office, presented Ms Jarrett the Silver Star her husband earned for his courageous actions in combat.

For Gallantry in Action: In the Republic of Vietnam during the period 7 October 1968 through 8 October 1968, Sergeant Jarrett distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader on a combat mission near Fire Support Base Patton II, Republic of Vietnam. Sergeant Jarrett was in charge of an outpost when he spotted four North Vietnamese Army Regulars approaching his position. He immediately relayed the information to the company commander who alerted the perimeter just as the enemy opened up with small arms and mortar fire. Exposing himself to intense enemy fire, Sergeant Jarrett covered the withdrawal of his outpost, killing three North Vietnamese Army Regular. When the unit returned to the perimeter, he reorganized his men and directed their fire. Sergeant Jarrett's personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

In addition, the KCVAO, on behalf of Governor Kelly, the State Legislature & all Kansans, presented the Vietnam War Era Medallion to Ms. Jarrett further recognizing and honoring SGT Jarrett’s service.

Ms. Jarrett was particularly thankful for everyone responsible and enabling her to proudly display Jerry Lee’s photographs and awards in the Jerry Lee Jarrett Life Center in downtown Bonner Springs, Kansas. The Jerry Lee Jarrett Life Center is the manifestation of Jerry Lee’s vision for a community center focused on assisting Veterans and others in need in their community.

Unfortunately, Jerry Lee passed away in 2019 but not before continuing his service in a variety of positions to his community and our state including as a city council member and Mayor Pro Tem.

From Mr. and Mrs. Jarrett . . . “A HAND UP, NOT A HAND OUT . . . ROCK STEADY!”

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