James Sperry was wounded multiple times during his tour of Iraq in 2004 as a United States Infantry Marine. James was with 3rd Battalion 1st Marine Division India Company during his deployment to Al Anabar Province, Iraq. James received an open wound Traumatic Brain Injury and multiple broken bones during the Battle of Fallujah from a Rocket Propelled Grenade. He spent the next 9 months in the hospital recovering and rehabbing from his wounds. James lost six members from his platoon, including his best friend. The death of James’ best friend was due to a car bomb hitting a post, which he was originally assigned to. James tried to protect his best friend from being assigned to the most dangerous post at a Traffic Control Point on the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq. As well as losing his best friend, James lost over twenty more friends from both conflicts. He spent six years isolating himself, drinking alcohol, and smoking pot. Ultimately, everything that occurred after his injuries destroyed his marriage. James also attempted suicide in 2006. Due to his attempt, he spent 30 days in a mental ward with all Vietnam Veterans
A Wounded Warriors visiting nurse named Kim Bradley came to his rescue in the early part of 2011. Kim was able to get James into The SHARE Program at Shepherd Center Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He spent the next 5 months in a Brain Rehab and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Center.
After graduating from the program, James went back home to Lebanon, IL. As soon as James got home, a F5 tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. James immediately threw a week worth of supplies in his van and drove six hours to Joplin. Here James spent the next couple of days rescuing and helping the citizens of Joplin recover.
This last year after the F5 Tornado hit Moore, OK. James lead a forty five person team consisting of his fellow Veterans and Volunteers to help assist in the search, rescue, and recovery operations that occurred the first fourteen days after the impact of the Tornado.
James has traveled with The Wounded Warrior Regiment to the homes of Marines across the Midwest to help with their recovery and transition to civilian life. Besides speaking for the Wounded Warrior Regiment, he also mentors and speaks to thirty Marines four times a year at The FOCUS Program in Augusta, Missouri, which is run by the Midwest Marines Foundation.
James was selected by The White House and Veterans Affairs to be honored at Game one of 2011 World Series in St. Louis, Missouri. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama also honored James at The White House during The Press Conference congratulating the St. Louis Cardinals for their World Series Victory.
None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for James’s Grandmother leaving him a small inheritance. He used this money to help fund his organizations programs to find solutions for stopping Veteran Suicides.
James Sperry now travels the nation sharing his life experiences and what it has taught him to come back from the brink. His new outlook on life has motivated him to help Veterans become the Next Greatest Generation and educate the public about the men and women who have fought in the Global War on Terrorism
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