Army Veteran John Marshall Runkle Jr. is today’s Veteran of the Day.

Army Veteran John Marshall Runkle Jr. is today’s Veteran of the Day.

John Marshall Runkle Jr. was born in West Salem, Ohio, in April 1984 to Christine and John Runkle Sr. He graduated from Northwestern High School in 2002 and enlisted in the Army shortly thereafter. He completed a 10-month tour in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and a tour in South Korea before he was accepted into the U. S. Military Academy at West Point.

In 2009, Runkle graduated from West Point in the top 10 percent of his class, and in 2010, he graduated from Ranger School. He arrived at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in June 2010, where he was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. He then deployed overseas to Afghanistan to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Runkle was killed in action in May 2011 following a strike on his unit by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. This attack by insurgents also killed five other soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division. He was survived by both of his parents, a sister, two brothers, a maternal grandmother and a niece at the time of his death.

Runkle’s service earned him a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, a Meritorious Service Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a Korea Defense Service Medal, a NATO Medal, a Combat Infantryman Badge, a Parachutist Badge, a Pathfinder Badge, an Air Assault Badge, a Ranger Tab, a German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, and an Ohio Military Medal of Distinction.

Runkle was remembered in a June 8, 2011, memorial service at his alma mater, Northwestern High School. His remains were then interred at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville, Ohio. The procession that brought him there was over four miles long and contained hundreds of people.

To post a tribute this Memorial Day for John Marshall Runkle Jr., please visit the Veterans Legacy Memorial at https://www.vlm.cem.va.gov/JOHNMARSHALLRUNKLEJR/5D3E914.

We honor his service.


Carry the Load

In 2022, VA is joining forces with Carry The Load to honor veterans during the “Memorial May” March, a national relay visiting 50 VA national cemeteries to honor our nation’s fallen service members. A link to this webpage is here. The complete list of participating cemeteries can be found here. Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.


Writer: Kim McAdams

Editors: Theresa Lyon, Alexandra Kaiser

Researchers: Jake Stanard, David Charles Deprez

Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley

Project Manager: Oasis Diaz

By DME Interns

Share this story

Published on May. 16, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.8 min.

Views to date: 769

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network May 16, 2022 at 11:58 am

    We honor the service of John Marshall Runkle

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Navy Veteran Calvin Leon Graham became the youngest World War II soldier at the age of 12, and the youngest recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Horace Poolaw, who became a well-known photographer of Native American life.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Deborah Jo Pereira, who enlisted in the military at a unique time in her life and in American history.