Sunday, November 9, 2003

Ky.'s oldest veteran, 102, still devoted to service



By Ellen R. Stapleton
The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - It's been 80 years since Robley Rex served in the military, but he still lives like a man on a mission.

The 102-year-old is Kentucky's oldest known veteran, according to the state Department of Veterans Affairs, and he spends his days at the VA Medical Center in Louisville.

But he's not a frequent patient - he's a dedicated volunteer.

Rex entered the Army just after World War I. Although he never saw combat, he said he spent time in France and Germany around 1919. He was discharged in 1922.

What's more impressive about the man is his service after leaving the military.

On a typical Friday morning, Rex arrives at the medical center in his white shirt and trousers. He still wears his wedding ring, even though his wife died more than a decade ago. Not much can wipe the smile off his face.

The hospital is a big place, but Rex navigates his territory with ease. Pushing a walker in front of him, he quickly shuffles to an elevator to begin his volunteer rounds. He's been using the walker since breaking his hip a few years ago.

Since 1986 he has logged nearly 12,400 volunteer hours, said Mary Jane Crowder, in charge of volunteers.

After leaving the Army, the Hopkinsville native had a full career as a postal worker in Louisville. Rex still lives in a suburban home.




TOP STORIES
Parents pay up to avoid prison
Catching those who don't pay
Payments set by formula, for starters
Schools create inroads into male-dominated field
Shooting victim recounts terror
Eclipse enchants night sky watchers

IN THE TRISTATE
1 killed, 1 hurt in bar shooting
New trustee: Viva Delhi Township!
Drees signs on with City West
Mt. Lookout, Hyde Park: You're next
School accentuates the positive
Mason dedicates memorial to U.S. veterans of 10 wars
Project takes NCH 24 hours
New faces take over suburbs
War delivers blow to town with a dedication to peace
Regional Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Bronson: A parable of the bad shepherd at Good Shepherd
Howard: Good Things Happening
Crowley: N. Ky. Dems have got some fixing up to do

OBITUARIES
Virginia Curry, fan of British history, was knighted by queen
Kentucky obituaries

OHIO
Prosecutor sues state to block paroles
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Aircraft lead whooping cranes to Kentucky
Ky.'s oldest veteran, 102, still devoted to service
Teen charged with impersonating state patrolman near Livermore
UofL asks donors about anonymity
Hebron firefighters to compete in junkyard reality show race
Parents learning the scores