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Remembering Bobbie Grider: A tribute so fitting for July 4th

The inspiring story of a Russell Springs, KY World War II Veteran: 'Bobbie was a quiet man, solid as a rock and ever dependable, a man of faith, integrity, and gentle humor. He's home now, reunited with his beloved Alene."
Bobbie Grider, 91, Russell Co., KY (1925-2016)

From one who knew his life well

Bobbie Grider enlisted in the US Army in the summer of 1943, a few weeks past his 19th birthday and just days before the beginning of what would have been his senior year at Russell Springs High School. He wound up in the ETO--Italy, to be exact. In a letter dated November 28, 1944 to his kinsmen, Dillard &Nettie Aaron, he wrote in part,

"I am fine, could not feel any better physically, I guess, but could enjoy being some place else a whole lot better, I just almost hate this place, I have been here so long and seen the same thing so many times. The farther north I go the worse I hate it, because I know I will have to help gain that ground and it is no easy job."

Earlier that year, an Army news release in August noted that Bobbie, a corpsman, had been duly recognized for "meritorious service in combat on May 14, in Italy against the enemy." The release stated that

"Pvt. Grider treated many wounded soldiers and evacuated them from a hillside and mine field approaching the hill to a place of safety. Throughout the action he treated many casualties from other companies without regard for his own personal safely. His outstanding service saved the lives of many of his comrades... He was awarded a bronze star and made a private first-class by his commanding officer."

(May 14, 1944 was the day Allied troops, after nearly six months of fighting, broke through the Axis' Gustav Line to the way to Rome.)

After his return to Russell County, Bobbie was graduated with the RSHS Class of 1946, and in June the following year, he married the love of his life, Miss Alene Hale. A few months after their wedding, he began a course of study at Lindsey Wilson Junior College, but as with so many others, life intervened, and he returned to the people, the community, and the land he knew and loved.

Bobbie was a quiet man, solid as a rock and ever dependable, a man of faith, integrity, and gentle humor. He's home now, reunited with his beloved Alene.

This story was posted on 2016-07-03 04:14:59
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