Lawrence joins Veterans in Blue

Published 7:08 pm Friday, December 16, 2016

Retired lietenant colonel James D. Lawrence was named one of 144 Veterans in Blue, a distinction given courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

Retired lietenant colonel James D. Lawrence was named one of 144 Veterans in Blue, a distinction given courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Air Force is honoring an Opp man with ties to Greenville throughout fiscal year 2017. 

Retired Lieutenant Colonel James D. (Jim) Lawrence, an Air Force command pilot, educator, and author, is designated as one of 144 veterans for the USAF “Veterans In Blue” program run by the Air Force Public Affairs Office. 

Previously honored veterans include Pilot Chuck Yeager, WWII POW Louis Zamperini, Combat Controller Wayne Norrad, Texas Congressman John M. Hayes, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, and other significant contributors to the military. 

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A four-man public affairs production team from an organization known as Combat Camera visited Lawrence in his home near Pike Road in June, 2016, to produce a video and still shots from their interviews about his 26-plus years of military service, as well as his service in post-retirement environmental work and education services. 

Lawrence worked seven years as a contract employee at Maxwell AFB and two years part time at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, in the environmental business.  Lawrence has authored two military books, his memoir, “Airman’s Odyssey: An Air Force Special Operator’s Incredible Journey,” and “American Veterans: Their Stories of Service and Valor.” 

He is currently working with Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts in a Montgomery area program for war veterans known as “Dialogues On The Experience Of War.”  He facilitates discussions with veterans to mitigate the effects of PTSD.  The Auburn program is funded via a grant from the National Endowment For The Humanities.    

Colonel Lawrence is a graduate of Opp High School Class of 1965 and Troy University in 1969.  He is being honored at the Pentagon on December 16, 2016, with a ceremony and presentation of an American flag previously flown over the Pentagon by Lieutenant General Robert S. Ferrell, who heads the Army’s Chief Information Office (CIO/G-6), reporting to the Army Chief of Staff. 

A display of still photos and video interview of Lawrence and other veterans is being shown on a wall display on the fifth floor of the Pentagon through October, 2017.  Lawrence has been a guest speaker at the Greenville Kiwanis and American Legion Post, and has had book signings at the High Horse Gallery and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, Greenville campus. 

He is married to the former JoAnn Lee of McKenzie, and has two daughters and three grand children.