Donor Spotlight: Ruby Scheuing
Ruby Scheuing is one of our “go-to” veterans here at the War Memorial Center. You will see her on many veteran panels, and was recently interviewed about her experiences as a nurse during the Vietnam War for our Veterans Story Project.
To Serve and See the World
After graduating from the Rockford (Ill.) School of Practical Nursing in 1967, Ruby Britsch Scheuing joined the U.S. Army to see the world beyond her hometown of 200.
During basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Ruby met her future husband, Brooklyn, N.Y., native Army Major Gary Scheuing, who was about to return to Vietnam for a second tour, after serving in-country as an advisor in 1963. The operations officer of the 20th Engineer Combat Battalion, Gary pulled some strings to have Ruby stationed near his duty assignment in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Ruby was assigned to Pleiku’s 18th Surgical Hospital, which supported the 4th U.S. Infantry Division and most combat support units in the II Corps area of Vietnam’s Central Highlands.
In February of 1968, Ruby and Gary were married in the base chapel in Pleiku. For their special day, a priest was flown in from the battlefield, the bride wore a white dress bought in Singapore, the bridesmaids wore yellow dresses ordered from the Sears catalog, and the couple left the ceremony under a salute of crossbows.
The newlyweds then embarked on a 40-day honeymoon before heading to their first state-side duty station in Fort Lee, Va.
Ruby ultimately left the Army to raise her family, and watched Gary rise to the rank of Lt. Col. Upon his retirement, he took his first civilian post as military advisor at Delafield’s St. John’s Military Academy. (Gary sadly passed away in 2008)
Their son Michael is a U.S. Military Academy graduate and their daughter Kristen coordinates education programs at the War Memorial Center. Their other son Steven is a chiropractor in South Milwaukee.
In honor of Ruby’s military service, her entire family attended the dedication of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today Ruby is the grandmother of six, and is very active in veterans programs, including being a longtime dedicated volunteer for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. After proudly serving as a guardian for a WWII veteran on an Honor Flight, Ruby will be on board the Nov. 4 Honor Flight as a Vietnam veteran, accompanied by her son.
Ruby and Gary were honored for their service by their children with bricks at the War Memorial Center Vietnam Veterans Memorial this year, and were included in a special post-parade ceremony for new bricks at the War Memorial Center last Memorial Day.
Ruby says she appreciates the work that the War Memorial Center does to educate visitors and those in our community about the service and sacrifice of our local servicemen and women and veterans. She was grateful for the opportunity to share her service story with her family and the community as part of the War Memorial Center Veterans Story Project.