He was a Command Sergeant Major in the Special Forces. He was in on two of the most daring rescue missions in Special Forces history: a raid on the Son Tay Prison in North Vietnam in 1970 and the attempted rescue of the Iranian hostages in 1980.
Jack Joplin of Warrenton died February 26, 2021, at his residence at the age of 81.
Visitation will be Saturday, March 13, from noon until 2 p.m. at Guntersville Memorial Chapel. The service will follow at 2 p.m. with Rev. Vicky Mann and Gen. J. Boykin officiating. Burial will take place at a later time in Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma.
Sgt. Major Joplin was a native of Bromide, Oklahoma. He joined the Army in 1961 at the age of 22 and was assigned to the 501st Battle Group, 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment.
He joined Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) and was one of 56 volunteers for Operation Ivory Coast, the mission to free prisoners at the Son Tay Prison outside Hanoi in North Vietnam.
With Delta Force, he led Operation Eagle Claw, the mission to free the Iranian hostages, in 1980.
In 1983, he was part of the invasion of Grenada, also with Delta Force. He retired from the military in 1991, but continued to work for Special Forces until 2007, when he and his wife moved to Guntersville.
His awards included the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Medic Badge and the Special Forces Tab. He also received the Master Parachutist Badge.
In 2008, he was inducted into the Special Forces Regimental Hall of Fame as a distinguished member.
In his free time, he loved scuba diving, spear fishing and gardening. He loved to grow vegetables and then give them away to people in need.
He had the Lord in his heart.
He is survived by his wife, Kathrin Joplin; children Jackie Moniz(Chris), Becky Warren (Andy), Bylinda Dupart and Angela Joplin; grandchildren Chris, Curtis, Kelly, Amanda, Lauren and Jessica; and five great-grandchildren.
The family suggests memorials to Marshall County Homeless Ministry, P.O. Box 152, Guntersville, AL 35976.