“I don’t wear these medals for me …”
2017, March 27 – Lt. James A. Jamison wears thirty-one medals on his uniform. But he will be the first to tell you that he does not wear them for himself. He wears them as a tribute to his fellow soldiers, and the men who died in the Korean War.
It was a “chance” meeting at Food Lion that brought Lt. Jamison, and his wife Marie, to visit Malinda Shanaberger’s U.S. History classes on Wednesday, March 22, at Amelia Academy. “It was lucky that we met,” said Lt. Jamison. “I don’t think we met by accident. God caused our paths to cross,” said Mrs. Shanaberger. “We met in the checkout line. I saw his Korean War hat and thanked him for his service. Then I realized he was the Veteran in the film I had shown my students that very day!”
Lt. Jamison and his wife spoke with Amelia Academy’s first, seventh, and eleventh grade students. He told his personal story of heartbreak, sacrifice, brotherhood, and valor on Pork Chop Hill in Korea in 1953. He also made his point clear that no politician made “America Great.” He showed the children pictures of heroes of all our American wars throughout our history and said “these men are who made America great!”
Another point he made was that the Korean War is still ongoing because we only signed a cease-fire with North Korea, and either side can resume fighting at any time. He encouraged the students to watch the news and pay attention to the current actions of North Korea and Kim Jong Un.
Lt. Jamison is a member of “I” Company, 31st Infantry Regiment “Polar Bears.” He spoke about his role of stringing barbed wire along the 38th parallel after the cease fire, and also how he had to remove dead bodies along the way. With tears in his eyes Lt. Jamison closed with this statement, “I started fighting on that hill with 289 fellow soldiers, and when it was over, there were only 28 of us left. Had the fighting continued two more days, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Mrs. Shanaberger and her students would like to extend their gratitude for Lt. Jamison’s service and for his willingness to take his personal time to come and share his story. Those that heard him speak will never forget the lessons learned from him.
Lt. James A. Jamison shows Amelia Academy seventh-grader, Sarah R., his Korean War medal as pictured in her history textbook.
Article by Malinda Shanaberger