James grew up in a family devoted to serving their country. His Grandfather served in World War I, his father served in World War II and his Uncle served and is missing in action (MIA) in Korea. After that lifelong exposure to the meaning of service, James understood call of duty, enlisted and completed his basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Active duty took him to Vietnam where he was based in Chu Lai, Tanan, and experienced the realities of war during those years. James served throughout the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), an environment that impacted his health for life. Although he was not directly wounded, he was exposed to Agent Orange. As a result he now suffers from those side effects and wounds of war including PTSD, diabetes, impaired vision, and stroke.
When he returned in 1968, James met his future wife, Willene, who he proudly says “IS THE GLUE THAT HAS KEPT US TOGETHER.” Willene and James have been married for 45 years. He worked at various jobs, then reenlisted in the Army National Guard 1981 and worked as an all military vehicle instructor until he suffered a stroke in 2000. During those National Guard years, he was based out of Fort Gordon, GA.
James now uses either a walker or wheelchair to assist his mobility getting around.
Purple Heart Homes will renovate their bathroom making it handicap accessible and compliant with American Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. In addition, Purple Heart Homes will enlarge their bedroom for easier wheelchair access and provide more negotiable living space. Thank you, James and Willene, for your lifelong service and devotion to country and each other.