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Wellsburg war veteran turns 100 years old

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014, 06:56 PM EDT
WINTERSVILLE, Ohio – Wednesday marked the 100th birthday for World War II veteran Joe Jackfert.
His birthday party was held at Ann’s Country Retreat in Wellsburg where he has been for seven years. He is the first resident there to turn 100 years old.
People who have known Jackfert for many years showed up to celebrate his induction into the century.
Tammy Harrison, a nurse’s aide at the facility, put the party together and one of Jackfert’s best friends made sure the party was well attended.
Jackfert was among 144,000 American troops, including 5,000 West Virginians in the U.S. Army's 201st Infantry Division who were deployed to the Aleutian Islands.
“I spent 42 months in the Aleutian Islands with my brother,” Jackfert said. “We never saw a women or nobody. The first women we saw was a movie actress. I was a platoon sergeant. I was (the) head of 52 people up in Alaska.”
Many people who know and take care of him says Jackfert is easy to interact with and doesn’t complain. He is a sports lover and still has little dumbbell weights that he lifts.
“He watches sports till 3 or 4 in the morning,” Harrison said. “He’s’ a wonderful man. He’s loved by everyone.”
“He’s just amazing,” nurse Alisha Coen said. “And he has wonderful stories.”
Dorothy Tokask, who is 90 years old, helps to take care of Jackfert. She works at the retreat three times a week and had many good things to say about Jackfert.
“He always gives all the girls candy,” she said, “and he’s nice to all of the girls.
John Cherlanko a former W.Va. state senator and Jackfert’s best friend, presented him with a cane that he personalized for him and wants to get for everyone in the Barbwire Brigade Chapter 1 group in the Ohio Valley that reads, ‘This we’ll defend,’ in which he is going to add ‘forever’ and ‘Joe Jackfert.’
“He proved by being in the service and withstanding that bitter cold and the trouble they went through,” Cherlanko said. “They slept on the ice.”
Jackfert’s friends at the party said a series of books will be coming out by Gary Rider, who has four volumes of POW veterans’ books in Marshall County and is now extending books that will tell the stories of veterans in Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Wetzel counties. Jackfert will be featured.

Wellsburg war veteran turns 100 years old

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