Hometown Heroes: Honoring Clark and Champaign County veterans

Name: James Ryan

Hometown: Springfield

Current Residence: Springfield

Family: Wife, Carole; daughter, Tarole (Rick Lloyd); grandchildren, Jaccob, Allen, Robert, Catherine, Faith; grandchild, Charles.

Career after the military: 32 years at Navistar, mostly in management. Now serving a three-year term as a Clark County Veterans Commissioner.

Hobbies: Golf, travel and grandchildren.

Branch of Service: Army

Did you join the military or were you drafted? Drafted

Dates of service: October 1966 to October 1968

Total time that you served? One year, 11 months, 28 days, but who was counting?

Assignments/deployments: Ft. Benning, Ga.; Ft. Polk, La.; Vietnam; Valley Forge General Hospital, Pa.; Ft. Knox, Ky.

What did you do in the service? Light infantry with 11 Bravo, later supply clerk

What did you gain from serving in the military? You learn to grow up in a hurry. There is no one there to take care of you but you.

What do you remember most about your service? I remember most my very short stay in Vietnam (55 days) and the six months I spent in Valley Forge General Hospital recovering from the injuries I sustained while overseas. The care I received in the hospital was excellent.

What would you like readers to know about your military experience? I made some very good friends in the military who are still friends today. You learn to get along with all types of people from all walks of life and all parts of the country.

Hometown Heroes is a weekly feature profiling Clark and Champaign County veterans compiled with the assistance of local Vietnam veteran Randy Ark. To nominate a veteran, e-mail samantha.sommer@coxinc.com or randyark48@gmail.com or call 937-328-0363. Any veteran of any military branch, years of service and age is eligible to be profiled.

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