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Service & Sacrifice: HonorAir Surprise

Jerry Rabern joined the Air Force in 1967 and served during the war in Vietnam.

During a Veterans Day assembly at North Middle School in Lenoir City, one teacher was shocked to hear his name called.

“It’s just amazing, I did not realize what all they’ve done,” said Jerry Rabern who learned the school had raised enough money to send him on an HonorAir Knoxville flight to Washington, D.C. 

“I’m very honored to be able to go on this trip,” said Mr. Rabern.  

He joined the Air Force in 1967 and served during the war in Vietnam. Most recently, he has worked as a paraprofessional teacher, substitute, and prior to that he notched at 23-year career as a law enforcement officer.

In addition to our on camera interview about the trip he will make in October 2020 with HonorAir Knoxville, Mr. Rabern also took time to answer the following 10 Questions about the influence his military service has had on the rest of his life.

  1. What one person influenced you most in life? My Father He showed respect to everyone.
  2. Do you feel honored and respected for serving your country? I do now Not so much when when I returned from Southeast Asia.
  3. How can people thank you for your service? We all need to pray for our service personnel and their families, help those at home waiting for their return, and give them our support.
  4.  How do you honor your fellow service men and women? By remembering they are protecting all of us while they themselves are making sacrifices.
  5. How do you think this generation of military men and women is different or similar to yours? Only difference is technology, all service personnel still face having to be away from their loved ones and the fact they may be ask to make the ultimate sacrifice.
  6. What influence did your military service have on the rest of your life? The military taught me to be responsible, dependable.
  7. Does your family have a history of military service? Yes, my family does have a history both great great grandfathers fought for the Union during the Civil War my father and his two brothers were in WWII my father in law also was in WWII my oldest son served in the army
  8. Would you encourage younger generations in your family to join the service?  Yes
  9. How has your opinion of war changed? My opinion on war hasn’t changed. It is a necessary evil. Needed to preserve our freedom yet it causes too much suffering.
  10. How did your military experience shape your faith? I have always believed in GOD .when a serviceman is deployed he leaves his loved ones in GODs hands