April 2016 Jefferson Award: Veteran Joseph Kelbley of Rothschild - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

April 2016 Jefferson Award: Veteran Joseph Kelbley of Rothschild


ROTHSCHILD (WAOW) - A Rothschild Army veteran who volunteers to help others who served their country is April's Jefferson Award winner.

Joseph Kelbley, 74, served in Vietnam in the 1960s and remembers buddies who came home - and some who didn't.

"Ken Weaver from Pennsylvania got killed in Vietnam, and I thought about that for years," Kelbley said.

Inspired by his mother, he decided to reach out and help others.

"She always said if you have time and it doesn't cost any money- volunteer," Kelbley recalled.

And that he did - for veterans groups, the Knights of Columbus, the Lions Club.

"He is probably the most deserving person I know. It is very important. It gives you a sense of community," said Edward Flanders, who nominated Kelbley for his Jefferson Award.

For the past decade, Kelbley has helped plan and raise money for improvements at Rothschild's Veterans Memorial Park, including the Fallen Soldier Memorial and the yet-to-be completed Gold Star Mothers Memorial

Kelbey says volunteering helps others and rewards him too.

"It is unbelievable the good feeling you get from it," the former soldier said.

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