By PJ Martin
Office/News Reporter, Metcalfe Division
Following the Memorial Day service in the courthouse yard, another special service was conducted by the Metcalfe County VFW Post 6281 in remembrance of all soldiers. The service was held at the Chestnut Grove Cemetery at the gravesite of veteran James Russell Reece who was a member of the Metcalfe County VFW.
Mr. Reece served in WWII and saw combat duty on seven different islands of the South Pacific serving with General McArthur. His son in law John Hepner pointing out that, “He didn’t talk about it much.”
Reece enlisted on August 8, 1941, and served his country for 4 years, 1 month, and 2 days. According to Hepner, “His intention was to serve 2 years and then come back home, but then Pearl Harbor was bombed.”
He along with countless other soldiers served in deplorable conditions in places such as Guadalcanal, Bora Bora, Efate, New Hebrides, New Guinea, the Philippine islands, Sterling, Mono, and more.
Upon discharge, he was sent home on a leaky ship that Reece reportedly said, “We thought would sink in the ocean before it got home.” He hitchhiked the final miles home from the bus stop at Cave City as countless other soldiers had done anxious to make it home.
As with many others, Russell Reece served his country out of a sense of duty. His generation referred to as ‘the greatest generation’ for their love of country and selfless acts of patriotism fighting for our freedom. Many of this generation have already passed on. They need to be remembered.