Wednesday Jun 02 2010
Vets honored on Memorial Day
By: Gloria Beverage
Traditional ceremony held Monday at Colfax Cemetery
Members of the Colfax Post 2003, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary, conducted the traditional Memorial Day ceremonies Monday morning at the gravesite of Joe F. Kelley. While attending Colfax High School, Kelley played baseball, football and basketball. After graduation in 1965, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a corpsman in the field with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment just south of Da Nang, Vietnam. He was 20 when he was shot and killed by a sniper in January 1967. “As we all know, U.S. Navy Corpsmen who served with the Marine Corps were always referred to as ‘Doc,’” explained Tom Mason, a member of the Colfax Post. “They did a fantastic job in saving the wounded, always ‘that others might live’ and, in so doing, became a favorite target for the enemy forces.” Kelley was awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Award, American Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Ribbon and Vietnam Campaign Medal. Colfax High School’s athletic field was named “Joe Kelley Field” in his honor. Memorial Day services were also held at the historic Indian Cemetery. Prior to Monday’s ceremonies, members placed U.S. flags on the graves of veterans and their spouses in the Colfax Cemetery. In addition, they placed flags denoting the burial sites of those who were prisoners of war. See more photos of Monday’s ceremony online at www.colfaxrecord.com.