Lt. Col. (retired) Jay Beebe of Nisswa was named to the Court of Honor at Camp Ripley last fall.
Beebe’s military service began when he enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard in June of 1950 as a private, with the 115th Tank Company. In September of that year he was transferred to HHC, 194th Tank Company 47th Infantry Division, Brainerd. In December of 1950 he was activated as part of the 47th Infantry Division and stationed at Fort Rucker, Ala.
His period of active duty was from Jan. 16, 1951 to Sept. 21, 1952. He then returned to Minnesota National Guard’s 194th Tank Battalion.
He served in various enlisted positions in the Tank Battalion. He was then assigned as platoon leader, Co. D, 1st Medium Tank Battalion (Patton), 194th Armor, Crosby, and later assigned as company commander of the unit (as a first lieutenant). He then transferred to HHC 194th Tank Battalion, Brainerd, and served as a RECON platoon leader. Subsequently he accepted a technician position at Camp Ripley and was transferred to the 47th S&T Battalion and served in various positions. His next assignment was with the 47th Finance Company, responsible for payroll checks for members of the Minnesota Army National Guard. After his retirement in 1989, during the Gulf War, he was again called to active duty and stationed at Fort Lee, Va. He was later released and returned to Ready Reserve after four months.
In addition to Beebe’s military career, he also was and continues to be involved and very active in his community and his church, Zion Lutheran in Brainerd. He has served since the 1970s with Troop 47 and the Viking Council of the Boy Scouts of America. For that he was honored in 1980 with the Scholar of the Year Award and in 1984, the Silver Beaver Scouting Award for volunteering his time.
He remains active with the Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery Board, an early member who assisted with the planning and fundraising to purchase the property and build the initial building.
He served as honorary colonel of the 194th Tank Regiment and remains very active yet today. He is also a member of the Elks Lodge, VFW Men’s Auxiliary, Crow Wing County Historical Society, National Guard Enlisted and Officer Associations. Served as Chairman for the Crow Wing County All Veterans Memorial and assisted with the design and fundraising.
In Florida, where he winters, he belongs to the Adopt a Family Organization, raising funds to assist six under-privileged families each Christmas with food, clothing and toys. He is a member of the Yellow Ribbon Program in the Brainerd area and assisted with many of their programs since their inception. He also coached Little League Baseball for 10years.
One of Beebe’s lifetime commitments over the past 50-plus years has been to the American Legion serving in officer positions up to post commander.