WARSAW — Jerome Keener, Pierceton, was honored as veteran of the month at the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting held Tuesday, May 1.
Keener was born March 22, 1949, in the McDonald Hospital in Warsaw. He has lived in Pierceton his entire life. Keener has one sister and three brothers.
He graduated from Pierceton High School in 1968, and was drafted to the Army right after high school. He attended basic training in Fort Knox, Ky.
Following basic training, he was sent to Fort Lenordwood Mo. AIT quarry MOS-62g20 for three to four months, before being deployed to Vietnam as a Combat Engineer Company A 63rd engineer battalion specialist.
He remained in Vietnam for one year, driving a gun truck and handling a 50-caliber machine gun. While fighting the war in Vietnam, Keener was in Tuy Hoa, Pleiku and Quinhon. He was discharged on March 31, 1971.
After returning home from the war he was employed at Whitley Products in Pierceton.
In October of 1971, Keener married Marsha. The couple had two sons, Brent (and wife, Sonya), and Ben (and wife, Angela) who both reside in Pierceton. Keener has 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, with two more great-grandchildren on the way.
He retired after 39 years of employment at R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Warsaw.
In his spare time, Keener enjoys spending time with family. He also has quite a green thumb and enjoys gardening and tending to his beautiful Koi pond, which he designed himself. Keener finds this therapeutic and states it helps with the post-traumatic stress disorder that many veterans deal with daily.
Keener’s granddaughter, Karissa Womack, Fort Wayne, describes him as one of the greatest people in the world, stating he is a hard worker and a wonderful son, brother, husband, father and grandfather.
“He’s always been there for everyone. He’s never missed a birthday party, graduation, sporting event, recital or choir concert for any of his grandchildren,” Womack said. “He has a huge heart – and he gives the best hugs.”