Memorabilia: Pictured are some of the memorabilia gifted by Melissa Jarboe to the Clinton County Historical Society in member of her husband Jaime Jarboe. The collection includes his uniform, patches, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, honor pins and more. The collection will go on display when the Historical Society Museum reopens in 2017.
Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 6:00 am
BY LEEANN DOERFLEIN - firstname.lastname@example.org
Frankfort veteran Jaime Jarboe passed in 2012 after he was wounded in action in Afghanistan, but his memory lives on. To commemorate his service, his widow, Melissa Jarboe, donated items relating to his military career to the Clinton County Historical Society.
Melissa, along with Jaime’s father Andy, stepmother Vikki Jarboe and great-uncle Joe Root, presented items including his uniform, challenge pins, patches, dog tags and more to the Historical Society for future display in the Clinton County Historical Society Museum. The artifacts will join the museum’s already healthy collection of war memorabilia when the museum re-opens in 2017 after renovations are complete at Old Stoney, which houses the museum.
CCHS Director Nancy Hart and CCHS Board President Mark Griffith were on hand for a ceremony at the courthouse veterans’ memorial on Monday.
Jaime will be memorialized in the museum along with other veterans and important pieces of Clinton County history. Root was glad to see the addition because of his personal ties to Jaime and because it is a way to remind people of recent military sacrifice.
“He’s my great-nephew and he’s the only name I’ve added to this memorial since it’s been here,” Root said. “It means a lot to have his stuff displayed here.”
Hart and Griffith both noted that having a recent war hero’s items on display will serve as reminders to the public of the important role of the military in our country’s history.
“I think that this will make people realize the sacrifices of servicemen and women,” Hart said. “Hopefully this will bring to their attention the sacrifices of not just Jaime Jarboe, but everyone ... dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War.”
Before the donation Melissa had Jaime’s military items in a sort of shrine at her home, but she decided to reach out to the Clinton County Historical Society to offer the items to the museum. Though Jaime lived many places during his military career, she felt his hometown was the right place to display the items.
“Frankfort is his home of record,” Melissa said. “Out of all the places in the nation, I thought this is where his stuff needed to come home to.”
Jaime served two deployments, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. During his deployment in Afghanistan, he was hit in the neck by sniper fire and was sent home to be treated stateside. He died 11 months after being wounded, at Walter Reid Hospital, with his father and wife by his side.
Melissa and Andy said he showed courage and maintained a sense of humor right up until the night before he passed. Even while fighting for his life and suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) she said, he never regretted fighting for his country.
“At all costs, he never regretted his service. He loved his country and everybody in it, so much that he was willing to die for it,” Melissa said. “Jaime is a great example of leadership that we all should be as Americans, to selflessly serve one another in a unity effort. He didn’t serve for one group of people, he served for everyone.”
Jaime had promised Melissa to keep fighting until after her birthday, which is March 20. He died on March 21, 2012.
In return, Melissa kept her promise to fight for soldiers with PTSD. In addition to honoring Jaime with the donation to the museum, she is running a non-profit organization called the Military Veteran Project, which fights for veterans and PTSD research.
“Our job is to work with the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense to find a cure for it (PTSD),” Melissa said. “Because if we are going to send them across the ocean or wherever on foreign soil, we need to be prepared to take care of them back home ... We come in as a third party administrator to fill that gap and save lives.”
In addition, each year Melissa is donating 100 copies of her memoir, “Sacrificed,” to the Historical Society to sell for the profit of the museum.
Griffith said county residents can join Melissa in donating to the museum. He encourages people to examine their own artifacts because they, too, might have museum-quality items.