Veterans: Share Your Stories
The selfless service by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces is what keeps our nation great, These brave patriots proudly defended America and I am honored to represent so many veterans in Congress. Please join me in honoring our veterans this November by sharing their stories and thanking all veterans for their service.
Please submit stories and photos to Cate.Cullen@mail.house.gov throughout the month of November. Those who submit material are asked to include a short description of the branch, title, and assignment and to verify they have permission to share the photos and stories before submission. Please keep all submissions under 250 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.
Captain Junias Jackson
Campaigns: Iraqi Freedom 2003, 2004, 2006 Duty Stations: Germany 2002-2007 75th Training Command (US Army Reserves) / UAB Army ROTC 2007-2009 Vicenza, Italy 2010-2013 Fort Lee, VA 2013-2014 Fort Stewart, GA 2014-2016 (Company Commander) Fort Lee, VA 2016 - Present
"It has been the greatest pleasure to serve a country that has been so great to me and my family. In my 15 years I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with other militaries across the world and gain a better understanding of our differences and similarities from a cultural, military and political perspective. I’ve had the opportunity to live in Germany and Italy with my family and travel with them to over 27 countries throughout Central America, Europe and North Africa. Ultimately, my experiences, especially living overseas, gave me a better appreciation for the freedoms, rights, opportunity and democracy that we enjoy and often take for granted in the United States."
Mr. John Birmingham served in Korea and Vietnam. He shared a story with us from when he served in Korea, leading a patrol to find the enemy. They encountered the enemy and he took a bullet under the left eye which then went through the top of the mouth the right cheek and taking teeth. While lying there he thought, “ I will live with God’s Grace.” And he did. He remembers he had to eat a lot of tapioca pudding while going through the repair and recovery process. It is not something he picks to eat now!
After service in Korea, he continued to serve our country and also fought in Vietnam. He flew on helicopter from Can Tho, VN to Saigon for a meeting. Something just told him- don’t fly back on that helicopter. So he got a buddy who was going back and they took the return trip on a C-130 back to Can Tho. When he got back to his desk, he found out that that helicopter had been shot down and 22 had died. It was the last one shot down during the war. It was, again, God’s grace that let him live.
James W. Scott
Mr. James W. Scott served during the Korean War. His wife shared some thoughts with us about his memories of the time he served while there.
James served in a mortar squad. When he first arrived in Korea he was handed a rifle, but James said, “I’m not trained on a rifle,” and he was told- you are about to learn very quickly. And he did. Shortly after, they were walking through the brush and someone shouted, “Hit the dirt!” There in front of them was a North Korean with a machine gun! He killed the man in front and behind James. Often as it got daylight the North Koreans would blow a trumpet sound and then begin shooting. A soldier was caught out of the foxhole as the noise sounded and the NK began to focus guns on him. James said he could not let the man stay out there and so he jumped up and grabbed him and pulled him into the foxhole. He never knew who he was or what happened, afterwards, to the man. He was 21 at the time.
James said that his greatest accomplishment in his time over there was that between the two 16 men mortar squads, he never lost a man. When he went out on patrol, he never had a problem finding someone to go with him because they had trust in him.
As James watched a commercial for Heartbreak Ridge in the ‘80s, he said, “Don’t need to go see that – I know about it, I was there.”
As dementia became a problem for him, the two of them faced it like good soldiers and chose to find something to laugh about every day, and the last years of his life was a joyous time for them. Mrs. Scott said she followed the advice of her mother, “There’s always going to be tough times – handle them with dignity and grace.”