Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran James Wiggins. James served from 1948-1969.
In 1948, while living in Augusta, Georgia, James enlisted in the United States Army. Shortly after, James was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he received eight weeks of basic training and was assigned to the all-black 159th Field Artillery Unit.
As the 159th Field Artillery Unit became overstaffed, James was reassigned to the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment and stationed in Gifu, Japan. There, he served with a heavy mortar company and trained until 1950when James and the 24th Infantry Regiment were reassigned to Korea.
James and his regiment arrived in Pusan, Korea on July 4, 1950. Nine days later, he was hit by shrapnel while engaging in combat with enemy forces. James recovered from his injury and continued to serve until he received a disabling injury to his left leg and foot preventing him from staying in Korea. James was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds.
After recovering from his injuries, James returned to serve in the military. He did a tour in Vietnam before being assigned to the Military Trade Management and Terminal Service Unit of the Pacific North West in Seattle, Washington.
After serving for 21 years, James was discharged on Oct. 10, 1969 at the rank of sergeant first class.
Upon leaving the Army, James worked with the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration before retiring in his home state of Georgia after 24 years. James passed in May 2011.
We honor his service.
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? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic by Cynthia Tong: Cynthia is a senior at New York University studying Public Policy.