#VeteranOfTheDay Navy Veteran James Joseph Keenan, Jr


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran James Joseph Keenan, Jr. James served during World War II.

The oldest of four, James was born in 1925. James’ father, a World War I Marine, signed him into service when he was 17. James served as a gunner’s mate and plank owner on USS Lake Champlain in the Mediterranean Sea during the war.

He described his service in the Med thus: “We passed through the Strait of Gibraltar eight times; the Germans, who held the high ground, wanted to sink something to ‘cork’ the bottleneck. We wished fervently on each passage not to become that cork. We were too big to zig-zag. We could only zig. That made us an appealing target.”

After the war, James made his home in New York City where he joined Consolidated Edison as a sheet metal worker. He became first a shop steward in the Utility Workers Union for 18 years, and subsequently was elected to business agent, serving 22 more years in that capacity representing his fellow workers.

James was married twice, had three children and two grandchildren. He passed away at the age of 65 in 1991.

We honor your service, James.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.

Graphic By Kierra Willis: Kierra Willis is a Graphic Communication Major at the University of Maryland University College. She currently has an AAS in Graphic Design and Visual Communications.


Natalie Himmel

Natalie Himmel is a senior at University of Iowa, majoring in English and International Studies with a focus on Global Resources and the Environment. She has published work for Iowa United Nations Association and Huffington Post. She currently serves as an Honors Writing Fellow for University of Iowa, the Vice President of UI’s European Horizon’s Chapter, and writes environmentally-focused content for Odyssey. She is also a Social Media Intern for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.