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A Fallen Hero: Sgt. 1st Class James D. Priestap

***Bumped and Updated***

My husband, Steve, and I received some very sad news Thanksgiving evening. Steve's cousin, Army Sgt.1st Class James Priestap, was shot and killed by a terrorist sniper while working at a checkpoint near Baghdad. He was wearing body armor, but he hit was in the shoulder, and the bullet went into his heart killing him instantly.

Here's the AP story on his death:

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (AP) -- A National Guard soldier from the Upper Peninsula was killed in Iraq on Thanksgiving Day, military authorities said.


Army Sgt. 1st Class James D. Priestap, 39, of Hardwood, was fatally shot while on duty at a checkpoint in Baghdad. He was assigned to the 46th Military Police Company in Kingsford.

Priestap was among 60 members of the unit, which was deployed to Iraq on July 9. They had trained in Fort Dix, N.J., for six weeks before heading to the combat zone.

"Jim was the type of guy that everybody liked," Mary Oman, a friend of Priestap's from Breitung Township in Dickinson County, told The Daily News of Iron Mountain for a Monday story. "He was a great guy to be around. You never saw him without a smile on his face."

Priestap was a 1985 graduate of North Dickinson High School, where coach Joe Reddinger remembered him as a good football player.

"Jim was always upbeat about everything he did," Reddinger said. "He was very passionate about playing sports and always went full force. He was a natural leader."

We found out a couple of days after his death that he actually wasn't supposed to be at the checkpoint at the time, but the generator blew out. Apparently, two other guys were assigned to go out and restart it, but, since Jim was in charge of the platoon, he went out instead because he felt responsible for his men. It was then that he was shot. That was Jim, always putting the well-being of his men before himself. And helping others was what Jim was all about. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast region, he traveled to New Orleans and spent a month there to help rebuild the area and assist those whose lives had been turned upside down.

Jim's father wrote this about him in an email which he sent to us shortly after Jim's death:

[H]e always believed, and proved, that being mediocre in life wasn't for him. Like when he was a kid and was called "little Jimmy" until he became captain of the high school football team. I remember talking with his ship mates once when he was in the Navy in San Diego and they said he was the top sailor on the ship in all ways, and they hoped he'd go to OCS and become their officer. As you probably know, he became a Navy Diver (next thing to his dream of being a Navy Seal), a small plane pilot, and after we spent many study hours together he became a Deputy Sheriff in Florida--getting the highest score in his class. That eventually enabled him, Connie & the kids to get back to the families and area they loved.


Then he worked like a dog on the old house they bought to get it ready for a UP winter for Connie and the kids, before he left for Iraq. For example, 1,000 sheets of drywall were hung. He and Connie did a beautiful job on it. Then in his "spare time" from that and his job (working nights--so he usually didn't get enough sleep-- he helped [his brother-in-law] Mark and [nephew] Mason put a roof on their garage--just before he left. Jim was ALWAYS helping others.

The time we worked together repairing their Florida house so they could sell it and move back to the UP, and then together painting their house this past summer before Jim left is a time I'll always cherish.

But you know, in spite of Jim's many "accomplishments" in such a busy schedule, the best thing about Jim was how wonderful & attentive a father he was. Frankie and Brody adored Jim, for good reason.

His funeral is scheduled for this weekend, and about 3,000 people are expected to attend, including 200 Patriot Guard riders who will escort Jim's body to the cemetery in the Upper Peninsula town in which he grew up.

If you wouldn't mind, please think of and say a prayer for Jim's wife, Connie, and their two kids, Francesca and Brody, as well as his sister, mother, and father as they cope with Jim's sudden death. It will be especially difficult during this Christmas season.

Jim%20Priestap1.jpg
We love you Jim, and you will be missed by all those whose lives you touched. You died a hero, and we will always be so grateful for your sacrifice.

Update: Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to the Sgt. James Priestap Memorial Trust Fund at either First National Bank and Trust of Iron Mountain at 231 S. Stephenson Ave. Iron Mountain, MI 49801 or the Range Bank of Kingsford at 345 Carpenter Ave. Kingsford, Michigan, 49802.

Update II: I found a post written by a soldier, Matt, who served under Jim and who was with him when he died. I posted it briefly on Tuesday but took it down because Jim's family hadn't seen it yet. Now that they have, I am going to repost it because it's an amazing but heartbreaking tribute to Jim as a person, a soldier, and a leader.

In memory of SFC James Priestap (my platoon sgt.). Killed by a sniper at Checkpoint 17 while distributing food and water to the Iraqi Police. Moments before his death, he was smiling and giving candy to the kids in the area. He was a man with a wife and 2 kids, ages 11 and 9. I had to help load his body in the backseat of my humvee and then loaded him onto the MEDEVAC helicopter. I had in my posession a camo pattern angel that i carried for my own good luck charm. Before we got him on the helicopter, i placed the angel on his body and said a prayer to help him on his way to Heaven. He will now be living in eternal happines and we all have another guardian angel watching over us. The expression on his face is something that is forever burned into my memory and i'll never forget it. It was most certainly a life altering experience and I now have a whole different outlook on life in general. This man was one of the greatest leaders in our company. He had a huge heart and he would do absolutely anything for his soldiers that were under his command. This incident may have dented our morale here, but we will NOT stand down and we will NOT back away. We will be back out at Checkpoint 17 soon and those motherfuckers better be ready to die. They may think they've had a victory on thanksgiving day but they haven't seen the wrath of my squad and the sheer anger we now have growing inside us all. After we took SFC Priestap's weapon we divided up the rounds in the magazine to everyone in the squad. The first round in the chamber of our M4 rifles is one of his tracer rounds and it will be the first round out of the barrel in his name. He will not have died in vain.

On Wednesday afternoon, I had a wonderful IM conversation with Matt and had the opportunity to thank him for his kind words as well as his service to our country.

Update III:

Steve and I are so grateful for everyone's kind words of support and sympathy for Jim's family as well as for us. While Steve and I are heartbroken about Jim's death, our thoughts and prayers are with Connie and her kids as they try to get through this difficult time. Losing Jim is hard enough for them to begin with, but losing him on Thanksgiving day makes the hurt so much more intense.

Again, thank you.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A Fallen Hero: Sgt. 1st Class James D. Priestap:

» The Political Pit Bull linked with Kim Priestap Honors A Fallen Hero

» Dawnsblood linked with Kim salutes a hero

» Stop The ACLU linked with A Fallen Hero Is Honored

» Right Pundits linked with America’s Finest

» Sister Toldjah linked with RIP, Army Sgt. 1st Class James Priestap

» Webloggin linked with An American Hero Is Honored

» America's North Shore Journal linked with Mourning Our Heroes

» BLACKFIVE linked with Godspeed, SFC Jim Priestap

» Bill's Bites linked with Godspeed, SFC Jim Priestap

» The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 11/30/2006

» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with Army SFC James Priestap, Rest in Peace

Comments (76)

My condolences to you and y... (Below threshold)

My condolences to you and yours.

I'm sorry about your loss, ... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry about your loss, Kim. Condolences.

You're all in my family's p... (Below threshold)
Amy:

You're all in my family's prayers. May Jim rest in peace- he's a true hero.

God Bless.... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

God Bless.

Our family's thoughts are w... (Below threshold)

Our family's thoughts are with you too.

Thoughts and prayers to him... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Thoughts and prayers to him, his family and friends, and those with whom he served.

I'm sorry for your loss. Yo... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I'm sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my thoughts.

I am so sorry, you have my ... (Below threshold)

I am so sorry, you have my condolences.

You and yours are in my prayers.

My thoughts and prayers and... (Below threshold)
Keryn:

My thoughts and prayers and thanks to your family's sacrifice and pain. May you all be comforted especially this holiday season.

I'm so sorry. I'll be keep... (Below threshold)

I'm so sorry. I'll be keeping all of your family in my prayers.

Kim:Some see only ... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Kim:

Some see only the loss, but most see also the value of the sacrifice. Know that Jim's life had purpose, and whether it is heaven or valhala, he rests with the brave.

I'm sorry to hear the news.... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I'm sorry to hear the news. My condolences to your family.

My sympathies to you and yo... (Below threshold)
Retread:

My sympathies to you and your family. Of course I'll say a prayer for your cousin and all your family.

From one of my favorite poe... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

From one of my favorite poems:

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Kim,let me know if... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Kim,

let me know if there is a fund set up for his wife and kids.

Kim,I'm very sorry... (Below threshold)

Kim,

I'm very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Yes, Kim...please let us kn... (Below threshold)
jwehman:

Yes, Kim...please let us know if there is any way we can contribute to the family. They should be made aware that there is a country of people grateful for the sacrifices of their husband/dad/son.

God bless his family in this time.

Rgds,

Jwehman

Sounds like a great guy. I ... (Below threshold)
loaner1967:

Sounds like a great guy. I think about all of the stories that I hear about the men and women that go over there and are killed and the one thing that is consistant about all of those stories how selfless those people are. The story of this soldiers death reminds me of how priveleged we are to have such men and women defend us. I have never served in the armed forces so there are times I wonder how they do it. How they place themselves in harms way again and again and yet seem to be able to accept the risk involved with such seeming aplomb. I am in the mortgage business and a few years ago I worked for a company that only made loans to veterans. I got to go into many of their homes and meet their families and hear their stories of peace time and of conflict. I can assure you my life was enriched for having had that experience.I always tried to thank them for their service to our country. I know we don't do enough for them.
I am truly sorry for your loss. God Bless all of you at this time.

Kim, my deepest condolences... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Kim, my deepest condolences to you and your family.

Kim, godspeed and god bless... (Below threshold)

Kim, godspeed and god bless.
your family is in all of our prayers and thoughts.

I'm very sorry to hear of y... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Kim.

Kim, My very best ... (Below threshold)

Kim,
My very best to you and yours. It sounds like you folks lost a d@mn good man :(

Shame he didn't torture, ra... (Below threshold)

Shame he didn't torture, rape, or mutilate someone, or we might've heard more about him on the news.

He apparently was a really standup guy and your family is in my prayers, and shame on the media for not highlighting the amazing heroism and bravery of people like him.

I'm sorry to hear of your f... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

I'm sorry to hear of your family's loss, Kim. My deepest condolences to his wife and children.

Godspeed, Sgt. Priestap.</p... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Godspeed, Sgt. Priestap.

God bless Jim's family. Be... (Below threshold)

God bless Jim's family. Because of men like Jim, we can live more safely and freely here at home.

Thank you for the difficult post, Kim Priestap.

Sad news, Kim.... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Sad news, Kim.

Condolences to you and your... (Below threshold)
Tony:

Condolences to you and your family Kim. Good people are never forgotten.

Dulce et decorum est pro pa... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori: It is sweet and honourable to die for one's country. May God touch your family's hearts and ease your sorrows.

My deepest sympathy to you ... (Below threshold)
Brian the Adequate:

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. They will be in my prayers

Kim:My deepest con... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

Kim:

My deepest condolences for you and your family. My deepest respect and appreciation to Sgt. 1st Class James Priestap.

I would like to share an encounter I had with another Florida National Guardsman about to be deployed to Iraq. I do not know him but I heard him speaking to a secretary where I work and where he was conducting some business.

When he mentioned that he had a 14-month old son and was about to deploy to Iraq, the secretary offered her condolence. However, he wanted none of it, stating he looked forward to serving.

He politely stated, "Many people have given their lives so that I can live in a free country. I want my son also to grow up living in a free country. Even if I should die, I want my son to be able to say that I have my freedoms because of my father and people like him."

His words and courage moved me to the verge of tears. Although his infant son was too young to understand, yes, we most certainly do owe our freedoms to his father and people like him, and to people like Sgt.1st Class James Priestap.

God Bless His Soul.<p... (Below threshold)

God Bless His Soul.

People like him - who serve - are why we are free to enjoy our God-given rights.

I am grateful for his service, and grateful to him and to you all for your sacrifice.

I pray for his soul, and his platoon, and their mission.

May God soon grant you the power to feel more Joy for the time you had together than sorrow at his passing.

God bless Our Troops.

Sorry Kim. I read you news ... (Below threshold)

Sorry Kim. I read you news everyday but this was not one I wanted to hear. My condolences to you and your family. It is truly a difficult time. He seems so much larger than life in your words and the words of his friends, family, and buddies. We are all grateful and sorry.

May America never be short ... (Below threshold)

May America never be short of people like him. My condolences.

Kim,Please accept ... (Below threshold)
invernessie:

Kim,

Please accept my condolences to you and your family. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

Bless him, and all those wh... (Below threshold)
a4g:

Bless him, and all those who stand guard over our freedoms.

Deepest condolences to you and your family.

I am so sorry to hear this ... (Below threshold)

I am so sorry to hear this news. There are just no words that I can say that will help but I just want you and your family to know that you are all in our prayers and thoughts. Thank you for sharing about the life of Sgt.1st Class James Priestap. God Bless you all.

May God grant grace and pea... (Below threshold)
Mike:

May God grant grace and peace to you and your family.

...and some gave all.... (Below threshold)

...and some gave all.

God grant us the serenity
To accept the things we cannot change
Courage to change the things we can
And the wisdom to know the difference

God bless Sgt. Priestap and... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

God bless Sgt. Priestap and his family.

And thank you Lord for men like him.

Sad news.... (Below threshold)
robert:

Sad news.

Kim, My heart goes... (Below threshold)

Kim,

My heart goes out to you and your cousin's family. You all are in our prayers. We will never forget.

My deepest condolences to y... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

My deepest condolences to you and your family on your loss. As Gianni commented please let us know if a trust fund has been setup and where to send a contribution.

[silent prayer]... (Below threshold)
epador:

[silent prayer]

My Dad grew up in that area... (Below threshold)
pretzel_logic:

My Dad grew up in that area. A 'yupper' we all can be proud of.

Kim, I am sorry for the ter... (Below threshold)
Bungalowlife:

Kim, I am sorry for the terrible loss of Sgt. 1st Class James Priestap. On behalf of my wife and son we are eternally in his debt for the sacrifice he made to make our world safe. We shall never forget. God bless.

El olvido es la muerte del ... (Below threshold)
Bernardo:

El olvido es la muerte del alma.

I mourn the loss of any sol... (Below threshold)

I mourn the loss of any soldier, and more so when it's a relative of someone in the blog family. Please forgive the lengthy comment but it's all I know to say:

THE FINAL INSPECTION

The soldier stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

Author unknown.

'Amen'... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

'Amen'

Thank you for posting about... (Below threshold)

Thank you for posting about your loss. It gives me and others a chance to say "Thank you," to you and your family for the honorable service you brother-in-law gave us and this country. Your family will be in my prayers.

Very respectfully, Steve G.

Rest in peace, Sgt. 1st Cla... (Below threshold)
Maggie45:

Rest in peace, Sgt. 1st Class James Priestap. May you take comfort in God's arms. Your duty on earth is over.

My thoughts and prayers are with Connie, wife of this HERO, and Francesca and Brody, who's father gave his life for our freedoms, and who will never be forgotten, and for all other family members. May God hold you in the palm of his hand and grant you peace.

My deepest condolences on y... (Below threshold)
q_mech:

My deepest condolences on your loss. Godspeed, SFC Priestap.

Connie and the children are... (Below threshold)
Suzi:

Connie and the children are in my prayers. As are you. As are all those who loved him.

God bless you.

My prayers are with you all... (Below threshold)

My prayers are with you all.

I knew Jim when he was cour... (Below threshold)
Jim Mather:

I knew Jim when he was courting Connie. We served on the USS Independence together. We talked about everything. We searched the Bible together and spoke about the kind of husbands and fathers we would be. We and went on many adventures everywhere we went. My wife and I fed Jim alot and he hung out at our house. He was a true friend to me and I have always thought of him often. Our time in the Navy together made him feel like a brother to me and I considered him as much. Sometimes everyday for a stretch I have thought about him. He was an awesome man. I am a better man for knowing him.

Kim, I'm sorry for y... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Kim,
I'm sorry for you loss. I loved Jim like a brother. I knew him about 5 years. Honestly, Jim was one of the best men to ever live.
Robert Levesque

Rest in Peace Jim. I will ... (Below threshold)
Missy:

Rest in Peace Jim. I will never forget the day I spent talking to him at the Ford Airport in Iron Mountain, at 5:30 in the morning, while I was sending our Forgein Exchange students best friend back to Penn. to her exchange family. I ran into Jim. Actually he tapped me on the shoulder, wondering where I was flying to. We sat for an hour and a half about life in general. That man was sooooooooooooo AWESOME! Perfect gentleman! Even bought me a cup of coffee while we were sitting waiting for the plane to arrive for them to leave. He was heading down south to help out the hurrican victoms! I am married to Connies cousin Kevin. Our 2 girls and Kevin and myself are very close to the Harders. I want you to know that I will always be there for Connie and the rest of the family at all times. We live just down the road a mile and a half to be exact! I have spent alot of time over at Connies parents house (Doug and Emmy Lous) since we found out Thanksgiving night too! May God watch over and GUIDE JIM! And may GOD watch over and guide Connie, Frankie and Brody as well. Missy

We never know when angels w... (Below threshold)
alexa kim:

We never know when angels walk among us until they are called back to God's embrace. Then, too often, it dawns on us only when feeling the whisper of their ascending wing beat across our cheek. It is clear that the most honorable soldier, husband and father was one such sent. I accept the abundant sacrifice with a deeply sad, especially unworthy but profoundly grateful heart.

God bless you too, Matt.</p... (Below threshold)

God bless you too, Matt.

May he rest in peace. Praye... (Below threshold)
The Exposer:

May he rest in peace. Prayers for the family.

Do not stand at m... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry--
I am not there... I did not die...

May the Lord bless you all ... (Below threshold)
David:

May the Lord bless you all in this sorrowful moment. I saw a reference to this webpage at NewsBusters.org. I wish our news media would put this respectful response to the death of a great American on the front page/lead story, sadly they hide how brave our soldiers are and only show the bad news. Thank you James for your service.

God bless. Thank you.... (Below threshold)

God bless. Thank you.

There is an old Eskimo lege... (Below threshold)
Pam in Fresno, CA:

There is an old Eskimo legend that there are no stars in the sky, just holes in heaven. And all the light coming from the sky is the light of our loved ones shining through the holes to remind us of how much they love us.

Thank you for being of service, Jim. I'm sorry for your family that you laid down your life and grateful for mine that there are men such as you in the world who have the courage to stand up for what they believe in. I believe in your honor, respect and mission. I will remember you every day in my prayers, Jim. May you rest in peace and may our Lord give your family the courage and the strength to find their way through this pain.

I'm so sorry, Kim. Please ... (Below threshold)
Beth:

I'm so sorry, Kim. Please pass on my love and condolences to all.

God will be well-served by such a man at His side.

May God grant you peace and... (Below threshold)
sniper:

May God grant you peace and strength. We will never forget you Jim. On behalf of the men and women of the 144th MP Company, thank you for your service Jim. We will see you again someday.

LT

I just wanted to say that I... (Below threshold)
Brent McBee:

I just wanted to say that I'm sorry the the loss of a excellent man who we'll never forget. I will always remember him as a great role model for soldiers and everyone who he came in contact with. I drilled with Sgt. Preistap on drill weekends and I will miss him so very much. We'll never forget You Sgt. Preistap will always be in our memories for the things you did. My prayers goes out to your family and friends.

My heart goes out to your w... (Below threshold)

My heart goes out to your whole family, as well as Jim's friends. We are deeply grateful. May God comfort you all and bless Connie and the children.

I was Jim's cousin, about 3... (Below threshold)
Kris (Priestap) Hendricks:

I was Jim's cousin, about 3 years younger than him. We kids always looked up to him. He seemed larger than life. I thought he was like Superman. Invincible.
His sister Lisa told us about his last week at home. He spent the week helping Lisa's husband, Mark, paint the house and fix the roof. When they finished Jim noticed that there was a large tree branch hanging over the garage. It needed to be trimmed off, but Mark and Lisa didn't have the money to have a tree cutter come out. Jim said it was no problem and proceeded to climb the tree, power saw in one hand(!!!!) and cut the limb without damaging the garage roof. After he finished the neighbor lady came over to admire the work. She asked Jim if he knew anyone who could help her with a similar problem in her yard. Jim grinned that HUGE grin at her and replied, "I'll be right over."
That was Jim. Always ready to help and loving to do it. Never mind that he only had one more week with his own family or that it might be dangerous or inconvenient.
It never really occurred to me that he might not come back home. You never truly know how much time you have to spend with someone.

I would like to write about... (Below threshold)
CJ:

I would like to write about SFC James Priestap on my new site, They Have Names. Can you please give my contact info to his family so that I can speak with them for inclusion on the site? Please check out the site to see the reverent manner in which I have approached this project. I would also like to include some of what you've written here if possible. Please email me. Thank you.

BUMP... (Below threshold)
Kris (Priestap) Hendricks:

BUMP

I Want to start off with my... (Below threshold)
Mike P:

I Want to start off with my condolences to the family and to everyone that loved and knew Jim. I had the honor and the privilage to serve with Jim, we spent a few years as national guard soldiers meeting on the weekends, then one day we recieved a call and was ordered to active duty and spent a year guarding Macdill afb. That is were me and Jim really got to know each other, we spent countless night on guard at SOCOM talking about life. We were then deactivated and sent back to our home lives just to have the hurricanes of 2004 to hit. Once again Jim and I found ourselves on state active duty on a humanitarian mission for 3 months . After we were released from state active duty I decided that my career in the guard had come to an end, my last day in the Florida nation guard was 11/8/2004. That day Jim stood in front of the Battery and talked about how much respect he had for me. Well i never got the opportunity to return that favor. Jim was one of the greatest soldiers that i have ever served with and a man that i have the up most respect for. Jim thank you for everything you have done, and my heart will always be with you. God Bless Jim and his family

I send my condolences to Ji... (Below threshold)
Bill Lynch:

I send my condolences to Jim's entire family. I was a plankowner onboard USS RAINIER with him and we spoke about the SEAL's many times. I knew how bad he wanted it. I had some background and relationship with that community as I still do and he would of made a great SEAL. Jim was a "top notch" sailor and it was proven many times onboard RAINIER. He knew his rate and more....God bless you Jim and your entire family.

May God be with you in your... (Below threshold)
Max Malone:

May God be with you in your time of need.

-max

Hi My name is Caitlynn Holt... (Below threshold)
Caitlynn:

Hi My name is Caitlynn Holton. My Dad is Paul Holton he was a friend of Jim and i just wanted to say that i am sorry for your loss

i ask everyone to pray for ... (Below threshold)
Gabe Balicki:

i ask everyone to pray for my fallen uncle's family. my uncle Jim meant the world to me and i will never forget the loving kind things that he has done for me and my family.

Gabe,




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