Tribute to Robert L. Jackson

Published 10:42 am Wednesday, May 30, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A special tribute to Orange First Church of the Nazarene Robert L. Jackson was held during the 15th Annual Heritage Veterans Memorial on Sunday.

Jackson passed away on May 3, 2018, just one day after the anniversary of being liberated in 1945.

“While he spoke little, he gave us so much,” Pastor K Ray McDowell said during the tribute.

Jackson not only served during WWII, but was also a POW.

As a prisoner of war, Jackson lost 100 pounds and survived The March. The March, as most survivors refer to it, over 80,000 POWs were forced to march westward in extreme conditions. The men had nothing to eat expect spoiled potatoes and boiled snow for water.

Jackson would often say, according to McDowell, there were two wars starting at the same time. The little one, as he referred to WWII ended in 1945 while the big one was still going on. The big one was in reference to his marriage to his bride, Mary.

Jackson was the inspiration for the construction of the Veteran’s Memorial located on the property of the Orange First Church of the Nazarene on MLK in Orange.

“Jackson did not demand attention,” McDowell said. “Others told me his story after I came to the church. He preferred to sit on his porch and watch his grandson mow the grass.”

While Jackson did not demand attention, he was the inspiration for the monument, which honors all service men and women from all branches of the service.

To order a plaque to honor a veteran or to honor them with a brick, call Orange First Church of the Nazarene at 409-883-4674.