By Charles Teter
As I grew up in the town of Riverton, there were several men who served in World War II.
These were good men—boys when they went into the service and men when they came home. They liked to fight and drink. People couldn’t understand why they were this way. They had different names for the condition, but today, it is referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) .
By writing these articles I want to inform the public why they were acting this way. Earlier I wrote in another newspaper about them and left some names out. These men were silent about what they did, and where they were at.
All of these soldiers have passed away and I collected the information from their relatives. I failed to get all of them but the ones I collected information on are the unseen heroes that Tom Brokaw wrote about.
Today, psychologists want the veterans from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Afghanistan to talk about their actions and not keep it inside. By talking about their actions, it helps to relieve them from the tensions of war. These men that I write about are from the North Fork area and I am sure some will be left out. The ones I write about are the ones who left as boys and came back as men.
The first one I want to write about is Bobby Jack Ruddle, a Korean War veteran. He was the son of Marvin and Nina Ruddle who lived in Riverton. On the day the Armistice was being signed, he was killed by a mortar fired by the North Koreans.
Bobby Jack Ruddle was born March 19, 1931, in Whitmer, the son of Marvin and Nina Warner Ruddle. He attended grade school at Riverton and high school at Circleville and was a member of the United Brethren Church of Riverton. Bobby was a fan of sports and country music with his favorite song, “Satisfied Mind” being noted by his brother, Jerry.
Bobby was a hard worker; he would hoe corn ad make hay on his father’s and uncle’s farms. After a day in the fields, he and his brothers would jump in a nearby river for a swim.
According to his brother, for his size, Bobby was the strongest person he ever knew, giving as an example, the fact that he would ride his bicycle four miles a day to milk the family cow while his younger brother rode on the handle bars and a cousin rode on the seat. In his spare time, he would drive a truck hauling logs and dye wood to the local mill.
Bobby joined the Marines on March 19, 1950. He took basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, then was transferred to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. While there he met and married Doris Tetterton of Washington, North Carolina. Bobby’s next transfer was to Camp Pendleton, California, and from there to Nevada where he underwent “cold weather” training.
Bobby was sent to Korea in February 1953, arriving on March 12. He was a member of Company D, 7th Marine Regiment and Battalion, 1st Marine Division. While in Korea, he took part in the “Nevada Cities Outpost War,” comprised of three hills forward of the main line of resistance guarding Seoul. These peaks, which were under Marine surveillance, were named for the three Nevada gaming towns of Vegas, Reno and Carson. The Marines considered being there a gamble; when the chips were down, “red” was a losing color.
Ruddle was killed on April 19, 1953, on the main line of resistance to the left of Outpost Carson, which faced the main Chinese outpost of Ungok.
At the time of his death, his wife was expecting a child, and in his last letter, written eight days before his death, Bobby wrote, “I’ll be glad when that little one comes along of ours. I guess it won’t be too long any more.” Daughter Terry Louise was born in May 1953.