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James Lawrence Jorgensen

biography

Received BA degree in May 1968. Attended law school from June to November 1968. Drafted into the USA on November 4, 1968. Basic and AIT at Ft. Polk, LA. Arrived RVN at Tan Son Nhut AFB in April 1969.

Assigned to 9th Division, Mobile Riverine Forces, 4/47th, Charlie Co. billeted on and with all combat operations beginning from USN LST anchored in Mekong River. Transferred to 9th Division, 5/60th, Charlie Co. based in Rach Kien eight miles south of Saigon. Returned early stateside in March 1970 as battalion was preparing for official operations in Cambodia. Served remaining obligation at Ft. Riley, KS.

Awarded a Bronze Star for Valor, three Air Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, including one for Valor and a Combat Infantryman's Badge.

Special "shout outs" to Vietnam comrades Gary Kuehne, Barry Lock, Jim Mintz, Jim Waldo, Elvin Sanders, Jim "Doc" Carr and houseboy Nguyen Tan Dat.

Sworn in as U.S. Treasury (ATF) special agent on June 1, 1971. Married college sweetheart Sandi Holmes in April 1973 (Will celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2023.). Son Erik born in 1976. Daughter Ingrid (grand children Noah, Eli and Libby)born in 1980. Transferred from Chicago to Flint/Detroit in 1980. Retired from ATF on March 1, 1996.

Became an avid boater while in Michigan taking many long cruises on our small boat. Most lengthy was 1,000 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago in 2008. Served as National Association of Treasury Agents (NATA)Deputy Executive Director for 25 years. Moved from Grosse Pointe, MI to Tellico Village, TN in 2013.

VFW Life Member, but not active until 2014. Served as Adjutant for Loudon, TN post. Founded new VFW post in Tellico Village in 2015. Served as Adjutant five years and All American Post Commander one year. Currently TN VFW Member At Large. Originated and produced the VFW's "BoatRides4Vets" service project now in its eighth year.

Currently serve as board member of the Knoxville Civil War Round Table.

Have been fortunate to have taken dozens of cruises (big boats) including five times through the Panama Canal, twice from NYC to Southampton, UK and twice from San Francisco to Sydney, AU.

During a 60-day visit to the Pacific Area, Sandi and I spent a week in Cambodia then taking a small cruise boat (60 passengers) down the Mekong River from Siem Reap, Cambodia to My Tho, Vietnam. Spent the next week in our old IV Corps AO and armed with an old 1/50,000 map I annotated back in 1969, Sandi and I visited numerous sites where incidents had occurred. Spent two days in Rach Kien with Nguyen Tan Dat and his extended family. Vietnam has transitioned into a vibrant self-sustaining country with Dat as a perfect example. He no longer lives in a thatch-roof hooch, but now has a brick home with elegant mahogany doors and wood trim, glass windows, electricity and running water. He and his family continue to farm what acreage the Communist government hasn't yet stolen and he also works as a building contractor who owns a motorcycle shop.

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