First Lieutenant James Byler
Award: Honoring Our Veterans
First Lieutenant James Byler was born on July 25th, 1985. He attended Huntington High School and is a graduate of Purdue University. James enlisted in the United States Marine Corp and served as an Infantry platoon commander with the Third Battalion, 5th Marines, of Camp Pendleton, California. James has an exemplary military record and has demonstrated a true and resolute allegiance to his country.
James was injured October 2010 in the Northern Helmand Province, one of the deadliest provinces in Afghanistan. While leading his platoon on a dismounted patrol of a narrow alley, James stepped backward onto an IED that was buried in the dirt. James sustained serious injuries, losing both legs and fingers on each hand. He was brought to safety by members of his platoon with the use of a wheelbarrow. The superior training his men received enabled them to stabilize him and save his life. After being cared for in U.S. military hospitals in Afghanistan and Europe, James was transferred to the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland.
James was awarded the Purple Heart. Although he suffered severe injuries James’ concerns still remain with the soldiers fighting overseas and feels privileged to have served his country.