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(November 11, 2022 1:00 PM) The US 12 Heritage Trail Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honored Willard (Bill) Rappleye as the 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award.  The award was presented at a gathering of friends and family at his son’s home in Horton on the occasion of Bill Rappleye’s 96th birthday.

The DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal was introduced in 2013 to recognize individuals, eighteen years of age and older, who fulfill the qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism. The DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal is awarded to emergency first responders; emergency health responders, active-duty military and veterans of the United States armed forces; and citizens who have contributed to the defense and security of the community, state, or nation in an exceptional manner.   

Bill Rappleye showed exceptional qualities at just 18 years old serving our country faithfully in WWII. He joined the Army in September 1944. The ninth infantry sailed out of Boston in February of 1945 stopping in Liverpool en route to France. February of 1945 found Bill’s 9th Infantry Outfit in between the German Border and the Rhine River East. Bill spent additional service time in Brussels. Bill was featured in Colonel Donald Aines biography “Win, Draw, Lose” detailing life as a soldier who served in all grades from Private to Colonel with service in WWII (WIN), Korea (DRAW) & Vietnam (LOSE).  Colonel Aines states that he would “trust Bill Rappleye with my life” as they maneuvered through the war zone. Mr. Rappleye earned eight medals during his tour of duty.

Later as a Military Police officer, guarding court-marshaled American soldiers, Bill noticed a flyer on a bulletin board about receiving an education and placed his name on the list.   He was chosen to receive further education shortly after through the GI bill. 

He chose to continue serving those in his community by practicing law in Jackson, MI. He humbly donated his time selflessly to serve those less fortunate who have had legal needs, as well as for churches, schools, and other charitable organizations. The Rappleye law office continues to serve those in the Jackson area, now led by his son, William. Mr. Rappleye has been a pillar in his community, continuing to live on his family farm in Liberty Township, where he and his wife raised 11 children.

Congratulations and deepest appreciation to  Bill Rappleye for the service to his country and community on this 2022 Veterans Day from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a women’s service organization whose members can trace their lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War. Today’s DAR is dynamic and diverse, with over 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters in the United States and abroad. DAR members annually provide millions of hours of volunteer service to their local communities across the country and world. DAR chapters participate in projects to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Over one million members have joined the organization since its founding in 1890. 

If you are interested in learning more about local DAR membership, contact  US12 Heritage Trail Regent Ann Schmidt at 989-277-8329, or email schmst@frontiernet.net.  The US 12 Heritage Trail has membership from Branch, Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee Counties. Other chapters can be located by visiting http://www.michdar.org/


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