WARSAW — Joel Robert Light, Warsaw, was honored as veteran of the month at the Kosciusko Commissioners meeting held Tuesday, May 14.
Light was born in Warsaw to Bob and Vivian. He graduated from Warsaw Community High School in 1966.
Light married his high school sweetheart, Cindy Bayne, in December 1967. Shortly after the young couple was married, in April 1968, Light was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Light went to Indianapolis where he was sworn in and was then sent to Fort Bragg, N.C., for boot camp for eight weeks. Following that, Light went to Fort Benning, Ga., for advanced infantry training, and ten weeks later was sent to Fort Riley, Kan.
Light remained there for six months before being shipped out to Germany for a three month period of training referred to as “War Games.”
Eventually, Light was transferred to the 3rd brigade airborne division in Vietnam.
In November 1972, President Nixon signed paperwork to begin the withdrawal of 35,000 troops from Vietnam. Light was one of the lucky ones and was discharged that same month.
He returned to Warsaw and began working at R.R. Donnelley & Sons, a career that lasted 45 years, until his retirement in 2015.
The Lights have two children, Doug (wife Stacie) Light, and Kelly (husband Steve) Carson, as well as five grandchildren.
Light has been a member of the Warsaw American Legion for many years. He described his main hobby as his collection of Frank Sinatra memorabilia.
“I’m really proud of my father and his service to our country,” said Light’s son, Doug, a former corporal with the Warsaw Police Department and former D.A.R.E. program instructor. “My dad is not a man of many words, but he taught me a lot by me watching him work hard growing up. He was a “do things right the first time” type of guy. He worked very hard so my sister and I could have a wonderful childhood growing up. I’m thankful for all the times he drove me to practice, the games he watched me play, all the advice and support, but most importantly, his love for all of us.”