Dobbe recalls time in Vietnam
By Holly Neumann
The Iola-Scandinavia School District hosted its annual Veterans Day program Nov. 10.
“It’s an honor to welcome you as we gather today to pay tribute to our veterans,” middle school/high school principal Jan Bue-Wells said. “This day is a day to express our deep gratitude and appreciation for the men and women that have served our country with bravery, dedication and selflessness. Your contributions are recognized and valued.”
“I would like to thank the 1.4 million servicemen and women who have been wounded in battle and the 25 million veterans still living today,” band instructor Corey Landon said.
Roger Dobbe, who served in the U.S. Army from Jan. 10, 1968, to Jan. 8, 1971, and was deployed to Vietnam from June 4, 1968, to June 3, 1969, was the program’s guest speaker.
Dobbe received such honors as the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Drive Badge, Bronze Star and Rifle Badge, as well as numerous ribbons.
He talked about the history of the Vietnam War.
“It was an unpopular war,” Dobbe said. “For me, it wasn’t bad coming home, but for some, they were viciously attacked and spit on. Most were not welcomed at all.”
He described what he saw in Vietnam as horrible.
“People were shot, wounded,” he said. “It was not something that you were prepared for.”
Dobbe’s two grandsons, Michael and Cameron, are following in his footsteps through the military.
“Now I know how my parents felt when I left home,” he said. “I worry about them every day.”
Dobbe said he has one wish for today’s military personnel.
“Build it strong enough so no one will want to try anything,” he said. “I hope it never escalates to what we once had in the world wars.”
Veterans Day is an important observance for Dobbe.
“Iola-Scandinavia is doing it right,” he said. “Not enough school districts do this. It is a great tribute to area veterans and it’s an honor that some of us never received.”