Congressional Record Vol. 169, No. 185
(Senate - November 8, 2023) PDF

  Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Mr. President, it is an honor to pay tribute 
to Mr. Jack Rutland, Jr., of Lincoln County, MS, who for more than 10 
years has shown an inspiring dedication to sharing the stories and 
memories of armed service veterans in Mississippi. By conducting radio 
interviews with veterans, their experiences can be appreciated by 
citizens all across Mississippi. Mr. Rutland has shown that his 
appreciation and respect for the men and women who have served in our 
armed forces goes beyond that of an average citizen, and America needs 
more people like Jack.

  Jack Rutland, Jr., was born on May 20, 1948, in Birmingham, AL, while 
his father was stationed at an Air Force base there. His father, Jack 
Rutland, Sr., enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps prior to World War 
II, and he served during the war for 3 years in countries like England, 
North Africa, and Italy. During his World War II service, the senior 
Mr. Rutland earned five battle stars. Upon the completion of the war, 
he remained in the Air Force for over 20 years. Once he retired, the 
family returned to Lawrence County, MS. From experiencing his father's 
patriotic dedication to our Nation, Jack grew up with a sincere 
reverence for the veterans who served to defend the United States of 

  In 2003, the Military Memorial Museum in Brookhaven, MS, opened to 
inform the public of local veterans and the town's service history 
through artifacts, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia. The 
museum is operated completely by volunteers, one of them
being Jack Rutland, Jr. On the 10-year anniversary of the Military 
Memorial Museum's opening, Jack interviewed four veterans. His 
interviews were captivating and respectfully executed, leading the 
public to want more. Today, Jack has conducted more than 50 interviews 
with veterans, some as recently as a few weeks ago. These interviews 
can be heartbreaking, like the story of World War II veteran Mr. Howard 
Britt who had to leave his beloved lieutenant in the field after he had 
been wounded. While in enemy territory, there was no time to wait. A 
story from Mr. Don Hemphill was similarly moving, detailing his arrival 
on the beaches of Normandy on the evening of D-day and seeing the 
wreckage of equipment left behind, as well as American soldiers who had 
not made it. The scene was so harrowing that Mr. Hemphill still could 
not talk about it when he was interviewed. In addition to these 
poignant interviews were inspirational recollections, like Mr. Hoyte 
Case who saw the iconic flag raised on Iwo Jima atop Mount Suribachi 
from his ship as he left the battle. Mr. Herbert Savell recounted his 
long journey home from the Pacific following the end of the war, 
traveling by cattle car to return to his small hometown in the 
Mississippi Delta. Walking down the aisle of the church and sitting in 
the pew beside his mother was how he returned. Each interview shows 
another side of the tragedies and triumphs faced by veterans.

  The work that Jack has done is necessary to help younger generations 
understand the commitments and sacrifices made by our Nation's 
veterans. Preserving the oral histories of those who served helps us 
better understand the challenging circumstances they underwent and the 
emotional impacts they experienced during that time. These veterans had 
immense influence on our country from their brave and selfless duty of 
protecting our Nation's values and freedoms. Through the diligent work 
of Jack Rutland, Jr., we can learn a bit more about the Nation we are 
today from those who served in the armed forces for us.

  My life has truly been enhanced by knowing Jack and his wife Shirley, 
who reside in my corner of the world. They have an outstanding family 
that includes their daughter Jamie, son-in-law Joshua Grosshans, and 
three grandchildren: Avery Rose, Jack Seton, and Alice Faye.

  In conclusion, I am incredibly grateful to Mr. Jack Rutland, Jr., for 
dedicating his time to serving those who have served our country. I 
commend him for his accomplishments, and I hope his story and the 
veterans' stories he brings to light will inspire future