- 32 years old
- Date of birth: Jun 30, 1978
- Date of passing: Apr 23, 2011
|Let the memory of SSGT James be with us forever|
James Alan, son of Larry and Lillian (Gunnlaugsson) Justice, was born June 30, 1978 in Manning, Carroll County, IA. He lived with his family in Manilla. James was baptized on August 17, 1978 at Zion Lutheran Church in Manning with Larry and Jeanie Young serving as sponsors. Later he was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Manilla. James attended school in Manilla and while in high school enjoyed participating in football, baseball and track. In 1997 James graduated from Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla High School. He enlisted as an Infantryman in Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, Iowa Army National Guard in September 1998 at Denison and completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Benning, GA in May 1999. James deployed to Operation Desert Spring (Kuwait) in 2001, the Multinational Force Observer peacekeeping mission (Sinai Peninsula, Egypt) in 2003-2004, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006. He came from a proud family of patriots. A distant relative has documented that seven of James’ ancestors fought in the War of 1812 and eight fought in the Civil War, as well as many in other conflicts.
On April 17, 2009 James was united in marriage with Amanda Jo Sand at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes. They made their home in Grimes and were the parents of one daughter. Prior to his mobilization to Afghanistan, he was employed full-time by the Iowa National Guard at Camp Dodge, Johnston. When not working with the Guard, he loved to spend time with his daughter and his dog Kinnick. He could often be found tinkering around the house and cooking for his family. James was an avid Iowa Hawkeye and Minnesota Vikings football fan. In his spare time, he liked to golf and hang-out with his friends, as well as work on tractors with his dad. James was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes and a lifetime member ofVeterans of Foreign Wars Post 3517 in Manning.
James volunteered for duty in Afghanistan in early 2011 to be with his unit because he loved his country and felt that is where he should be. After completing a routine security patrol at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, word was received of a downed OH-58 Kiowa helicopter in the neighboring Kapisa province north east of Kabul. James and some of his fellow soldiers from the Iowa Army National Guard’s Alpha Troop 1st Squadron 113th Cavalry boarded a UH 60 Black Hawk helicopter to rescue the two man crew of the downed helicopter. After their craft landed the group came under small arms fire. James was killed at the site on Saturday, April 23, 2011. He was 32 years, 9 months and 24 days of age. James was escorted home to Iowa from Dover AFB by OC Alan Schmeckpepper.
James is preceded in death by his grandparents Kenneth and Katherine Justice and Maynard and Nora Gunnlaugsson, brother-in-law Lyle Christensen, and aunt Alta and her husband Merlin Nulle.
He is survived by his wife Amanda Justice and three-year-old daughter Caydence Justice of Grimes; parents Larry and Lillian Justice of Manilla; brother Kenneth Justice of Manilla; sisters Denise Christensen of Manilla and Christina Lingle (Kevin) of Manilla; nephew Doug Ridgley (Sarah) of Omaha and their children Emirsann and Elliette; nieces: Stephanie Ahrenholtz (Justin) of Manilla; Jessica Lingle (Alisa) of Manilla; Katie Lingle of Manilla; Rebecca Lingle of Manilla; Tonya (Shane)Darnell of Elrino, OK and Jamie (Justin) Chronister of Elrino, OK; parents-in-law Bill and Sue Sand of Eau Claire, WI; brothers-in-law: Bob Buckli of Eau Claire, WI; Tim Buckli (Kacee) of Omaha, NE; sisters-in-law Amy Buckli-Loew (Clyde) of Chetek, WI; Annie Luer (Tony) of Fall Creek, WI; grandparents-in-law Archie and Carol Sand of Eau Claire, WI; aunts, uncle, other relatives and many friends.
James was born and raised in Iowa. He loved the Hawkeyes and football
season in general. He also loved the Minnesota Vikings. He could be
found tinkering around with tools in the garage, mowing the yard or
building things in the basement. He was a great friend and soldier. He
was also a loving dad, husband, son and brother.
All Medals Received
Bronze Star Medal (Twice)
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (Twice)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Stars (Twice)
Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star (Twice)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization Device (3rd Award)
Multinational Force and Observers Medal
All Awards Received
Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Oveseas Service ribbon with Numeral 2
Air Assault Badge
Combact Action Badge
Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Expert with Grenade
Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Expert with Rifle
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army)
Iowa Service Ribbon
IAARNG Leadership Ribbon with Torch
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