Monday, December 21, 2009

Jerry Rainey - In Memoriam


Jerry P. Rainey was born at Fort Benning, GA on January 25, 1932. As part of a military family, Jerry spent his childhood years in several locations. He graduated from Lanier High School in Macon, GA followed by one year at Clemson University before enlisting in the Navy at the start of the Korean War. One of his primary duties in Korea was rescuing downed pilots, often times behind enemy lines. After Korea, he spent the next nine years living in Athens, GA where he served as the head of the Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Rainey joined the Army in 1962 and attended the year long Special Forces Medic Course during 1964 - 1965. Jerry married the former Carol Thompson on August 21, 1963, two years after they met at a Shriner's dance. His first of two tours in Vietnam was from September 1965 to September 1966. The first nine months was as a medic with a Special Forces A Team (Det A-415) in Tuyen Nhon. His last four months was as the Public Information Office NCOIC, 5th Special Forces Group in Nha Trang. As an editor of the Green Beret Magazine he traveled throughout all 4 CTZ's gathering information about Special Forces activities for publication in the magazine. Jerry’s second tour in Vietnam was from July 1969 to June 1970 with 5th Special Forces Group. Assigned to Det C-4 (IV Corps) HQ medic, he traveled throughout the Delta region assisting where needed. He often provided coverage for "A" Detachments needing additional medical support or replaced medics who were WIA or KIA. His military awards include the Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal w/ OLC, Good Conduct Medal (2nd award), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation w/palm, Combat Medical Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Expert Rifleman Badge. Between tours in Vietnam Jerry and Carol were stationed with 8th Special Forces Group in Panama. He was part of the team that trained the Bolivian Army unit formed to track down and capture Che Guevera. During 1970 – 1971, he was a Medical Instructor at the Advanced Medical Training School, SF Training Group, Ft Bragg, NC. While stationed at Fort Bragg Jerry assisted in writing the U.S. Army Manual for Physician Assistants. After Mr. Rainey departed the Army he and his family lived in several locations including, New Orleans, LA, Tyler, TX, and Beaumont, TX. He worked in media sales and participated in political campaigns. Jerry was selected for and attended the Graduate Congressional Campaign College in the late 1970s. During his time in Beaumont, he taught at Lamar University’s Small Business Center and provided motivational and time management speeches for the DuPont Corporation. Jerry and Carol settled in El Paso, TX in 1993 where he worked two years as the general manager of Power 102 radio station. Mr. Rainey was a life member of the Special Forces Association and served as president of Chapter IX, the Isaac Camacho Chapter, in El Paso, TX.
Jerry succumbed to Leukemia, a result of his time in Vietnam, in March 2007. He is survived by his wife Carol, daughter Tammy and her husband Gil, daughter Stacy and her husband Jerry, son John and his wife Julie, and five grandchildren.

3 comments:

  1. Former SFA Chapter IX memberDecember 22, 2009 at 8:45 AM

    Jerry Rainey was an inspiration to all. Always thinking about other people before he thought of himself.

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  2. He actually has 6 grandchildren. Their names are Molly White, Dylan Rainey, Christopher Cook, Nick Rainey, Callie Myers, and Connor Myers. They are all wonderful successful kids. They all love him very very much.

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  3. My mother worked with him at Power 102. He treated me like a daughter. I'm heartbroken that he is gone. I love and miss you Jerry. I wish I could have said goodbye. Thank you for showing me what a real father acts like.

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