Woven From the Same Cloth

Shared by Ashleigh Garcia on 15th January 2019

I first met Jim Haas in 2010 when I started dating his wonderful daughter Ashleigh. It was apparent from the beginning the character, integrity, love, and compassion that Jim possessed. He reminded me so much of my own father and in 2012 I was lucky enough to call him my father-in-law. My father passed in December of 2011 and Jim was the person who filled that void and lent an ear when I needed advice or to just talk. I cherish the many conversations we had from sports, military, old west, and stories of West Point. Even though we grew up in totally different time periods and geographical areas, we seemed to be woven from the same cloth. His lessons in life and his traits were passed on to my wonderful wife and will live on. His grandson Otto and granddaughter Marian will miss him tremendously.

Lawrence Garcia
HM2 (FMF/SW)
US NAVY

First Roommate

Shared by James Baker on 13th December 2018

Towney Clarke and I were Jim's first roommates at West Point.  That first day we hardly spoke to each other until late in the day when all the in-your-face yelling to pick up this or drop that and keep moving unless you were spoken to, had finally ended after taps.  We chatted a little bit getting to know each other, tried to get ready for the morning, and fell asleep.  None of us had prior military experience,  So early the next morning when the drumming and bugle playing started we were curious, but not curious enough to get out of bed.  The music stopped and we could hear some voices out in the area but it was really pretty quiet.  Then quite suddenly there was a boom on the door and several upperclassmen burst into the room yelling and screaming about missing a formation.  I think we were the only ones in the class that did not make that first reveille formation.  Well we survived the day and eventually became adept at surviving new cadet barracks.  I have often thought that if I had not had Jim and Towney for roommates, that would have been my last day at the academy.  Jim was a great roommate and friend those first eight weeks at the academy and he truly helped me to maintain my sense of humor and to succeed.  Even though it has been over 55 years since that summer, I have some clear recollections of the nonsense we went through together and how "Mr. Haas" and "Mr. Clarke" helped me survive.  Although we were never again assigned to the same unit after Beast Barracks, I have often thought of Jim, wondered what he was doing, how he was, and now I have waited too long to find out -- I will miss him dearly.

My Memories of Jimmy at Verona High School

Shared by John Scarano on 12th December 2018

My most memorable of Jimmy were of those playing soccer together at Verona High School. As a Goaltender, you only have a few key people You can depend on to protect You in times of trouble. Jimmy was the real commander of our Team at Verona High School for several years. His skill and expertise shined in every contest we had. I watched with amazement sometimes as Jimmy frustrated so many key opponents on both Defense, as well as setting up our Offensive attacks. He was comfortable in the heat of competition. He had a great mind for the game.

It was his leadership and competitiveness that carried him forward to Army and beyond to the battlefields of Viet Nam. So many were fortunate to have Jimmy on their team. I am grateful and honored to have been one of them. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family, as he will be missed but always remembered for his Love and Devotion as a Partner, Father, Grandfather, and friend to many.

John Scarano

Verona High School

Class of 1963

Last Time I Saw Him

Shared by Jamie Kinsman on 7th December 2018

This story from George Kolesar was kindly shared with our family:

I want to contribute my recollection to Jim’s legacy by recalling the last time I saw him. I had just landed at Ton Sun Nhut airbase in Vietnam in December of 1969. Having been issued brand-new jungle fatigues, I was walking with a couple of other newbies on the airbase, totally terrified at my circumstance. A jeep came roaring by. The passenger in the front seat turned back to look at me and said “I know you!” It was Jim.
We barely knew each other at West Point, but somehow he recognized me. He told his driver to stop and back up. He welcomed me enthusiastically and told me and my compatriots to jump in. He took us to the nearest snack bar and stayed with me for a while, telling me everything would be fine, despite my obvious hysteria. He described the situation in Vietnam in calm terms (I didn’t know at the time that he was known as the “mayor of the airbase” and had a different perspective on things than some of us had). After a while, he departed. I never saw him again.
Jim’s pep talk did wonders settling my nerves. He’d already been in-country a few months and I knew my classmate already had figured everything out. As it turned out, he was right and I survived the experience.
About one year later, as I was getting ready to depart the Nam, I was hiding in a barracks at the same airbase awaiting my flight the next day. The door opened and in walked Greg Unangst, Class of 1968, whom I knew at the Academy. Except for me, I don’t think I ever saw anyone as terrified to be in Vietnam as Greg. I walked over and said hello. He had a ton of questions. As I tried to calm him down, I remembered my chat with Jim one year earlier. I did my best to convey the same assurances. Apparently it helped because Greg returned to the US in one piece the following year.
I am sorry to hear of Jim’s death. I will never forget how he helped this classmate at one of the most difficult times of my life.
George

Honored

Shared by Michael Haas on 6th December 2018

Dad or not....he was really the most amazing person I’ve ever known.  Just mind blowingly charismatic.   Everyone who met him, absolutely loved him from the moment he met them.  Like a fairy tale prince.   He surrounded himself with amazing people, and I’m honored to have been brought up in his presence, let alone as a dad.

He was the most supportive person I have ever met.  His positive attitude and optimism were nothing short of a blessing to have experienced.

His love for family was felt in your bones.you never doubted his LOVE!

All his friends that were considered close friends were aditional uncles and aunts to me. The loyalty had towards friends, “that you can count on one hand“  was the strongest  devotion you could ever hope to feel in a friend.    The phrase “you can know man by the company he keeps“ could not have been coined for a better person.  

His sense of humor was always at the forefront, always looking to find the rainbow in the rain.

He was a DAD, a husband, a Papa, a brother, an uncle, a son, a friend, better than anyone could ever hope to be.  I am absolutely HONORED to have him as my goal I can never life up to.   If I get even remotely close, I will be remembered as an amazing person.

Thank you Dad, for setting the bar!

I love you



First Imressions of Jimmy Haas

Shared by Joe Casey on 6th December 2018

I met Jim at a soccer banquet in Harrison, NJ in late November 1963. We were being honored as All-State 1st Team selections and Jim was about to be named as the recipient of the most outstanding high school soccer player award. He was tall, athletic, handsome, smart and personable. I found out that evening that he was going to attend West Point. That’s when I decided I needed to join him as college teammates! That was the start of a 55 year friendship that created a bond that will sustain us forever. I will miss my lifelong friend dearly. May he rest in Jesus’ arms.

Go Army Soccer!

Joe

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