Ken Bubbett, who now serves as the Guntersville Police Departments school resource officer at Cherokee Elementary School, spent 10 years in the Army.
He had a most interesting job. He was a chaplain’s assistant assigned to a U.S. Army hospital, the 115th Field Hospital.
A few months after the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal broke, Bubbett was at the infamous prison. His unit set up a complete medical ward to treat the prisoners and begin repairing the damage caused by the scandal.
Bubbett considers himself a spiritual person and the chaplain’s assistant role suited him well. While he was mainly in charge of coordinating the chaplain’s schedule and work, he also occasionally led Bible studies when the chaplain was not available. And he saw his share of suffering as well, coordinating hundreds of memorial services for fallen soldiers. Bubbett was often the man handing the American flag to a grieving widow or child following a military funeral.
He graduated from Albertville High School in 2002 and went straight into the military.
“The chaplain’s assistant is kind of like being a deacon,” he said.
In addition to going to Iraq, he also spent a lot of time at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. It was the base where a lot of soldiers who died on duty overseas were returned to the United States.
“I coordinated 375 memorial services in 4 years at Ft. Polk,” Bubbett said. “There were another 74 while I was in Iraq.”
While it sounds like depressing work, Bubbett viewed it as a sacred duty.
“These soldiers took an oath to defend our country with their lives,” he said. “The least we could do for them in return was perform this service to the best of our ability.”
He said he’d seen the TV and movie depictions of a soldier presenting a flag to a widow.
“I never thought I would be the NCO actually doing that,” he said.
In 2004-05, he spent 12 months in Iraq.
“We were at Abu Ghraib 90 days after the scandal broke,” he said. “The 115th set up an 84-bed hospital complete with an OR, an X-ray lab and other clinics.”
He was very proud of the work the unit did.
He was medically separated from the service in 2013 or he would possibly have made a career of it.
But shortly after coming home, he realized he could still serve via the police department.
“I enjoyed what I did then and I love the job I’m doing now,” he said.
School resource officer seems to be an excellent fit for him.
He has 4 children of his own.
“When I’m at school, have 404 that are my babies too,” he said.