TOPEKA (KSNT) – This veteran salute will look a little different, doubling as a farewell tribute to a World War II family man, whose dedication to country is still positively impacting the lives of loved ones.

Coming from a family of 5 boys, Jacob Pizarek was drafted into the army back in 1943.

“He would talk about how they had to lay on the ground because bullets were flying over them, those kinds of stories that were pretty blood curling,” Jacob’s wife Janet Pizarek said.

During WWII, he was sent to Italy to serve in the 10th Mountain Division Mule Pack.

“It was scary, but he had a deep feeling that it was his duty to do for his country,” Jacob’s Daughter Cherie Pizarek Trieb said.

Jacob wasn’t a very boastful man, rarely talking about his time served with family or friends.

There was one exception however, a pivotal moment during his service, when a Kansas hero was carried off right before his eyes.

“He was getting on a truck or something, they were driving by when all of a sudden they saw them carrying a guy off, and he looked down and said oh my gosh that’s Bob Dole,” Cherie says.

On and off the field, Jacob’s values stayed consistent.

“Friendships, and social things were very important with him,” Cherie said. “Family, friends, and country – and defending that.” 

Jacob passed in early June, just before reaching 100 years of age, and 75 years of marriage with his wife. At his funeral, he received a veterans farewell.

“He was honored for it,” Janet said. “That meant a lot to me too, that he was thought of the way he was. That he did what he thought he had to do.”

Upholding his duty to country and service for his community, was something always at the top of Jacob’s mind.

Even in passing his values of comradery and dedication to country will stick with loved loved ones for the rest of their lives.