(WJBF) – This month we had the honor of speaking with U.S. Army retired Command Sergeant Major, Samuel Edward Jenkins. You can’t say enough about what this man has done for his country, his fellow veterans, and his family. We’re proud to present him with the Salute to Service Award.
U.S. Army retired Command Sergeant Major, Samuel Edward Jenkins has done it all. Jenkins is a Korean War and Vietnam era, two time purple heart recipient.
“No one wants a purple heart, you don’t go out there talking about a purple heart, and if you’re out there doing your job and get wounded, fine, if that’s how you feel, I didn’t go out to get one, but I wound up with two. If someone knows what that is, they do not have to ask me about my patriotism, they know I have shed blood, I’ve shed tissue, in the defense of my country,”
Throughout the years Jenkins has had many accomplishments. Inside of his home is a wall of just some of the things that he did during his years of service. One of the things he’s most proud of is being able to take care of his family, and he encourages other young people to consider joining the military.
“Every young person I see, they will spend three minutes with me, I will ask them their grade level, I’ll ask them what they plan to do in life. I say ‘join the military,’ because they can get the GI bill, and they can pursue their dreams, and they will learn something while they are in the military. They’ll meet people from all walks of life, they will learn how to read people, and it will help them,”
Even in retirement, Jenkins still had the will to serve, and he did so by helping his family, and his community around him.
“I organized a boy scout troop on Sandbar Ferry Road, I volunteered at the VA, I drove a van transporting veterans from home, to the VA hospital, and the VA hospital back home. I put seven thousand, five hundred miles doing all that. I organized a group of people to go in to the cemetery and place flags on graves,”
Jenkins is thankful for everything the military has given him all of these years.
“If I had not been in the military, I would not be able to sit here and talk to you, because as I sit here in this seat I watch people go to my left I don’t know where they’re going to, I watch people go to my right, I don’t know where they’re coming from, but I do know the reason why I’m sitting here, because I served in the military,”
It’s because of his time served, his influence, and everything that he’s done for the community, is why Samuel Edward Jenkins is the recipient of this month’s Salute to Service Award, and before we left, he had one last message.
“Tell all young people, go for broke,”
If you know someone that you think deserves the Salute to Service Award you can nominate them HERE.