APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) Maj. Jim Strong served in the Army for nearly three decades, and has always put others before himself.
“It’s selfless service,” he said. “You try to do what’s right for the community, you try to do what’s right for the individuals who need that kind of assistance. That hand up, rather than a hand out.”
He enlisted with the Army reserves after high school with the last railway battalion unit in the Army.
“We repaired locomotives, repaired tracks, repaired rolling stock, and did headquarters planning for any military rail operations in the United States or around the world,” he said. “It’s a lot more efficient than moving things by truck. So we could move a lot of stuff in a very short, efficient manner.”
Jim would eventually become a commissioned officer. He retired after 29 years of total service in 1996 as a Major, and would eventually become president of the Fox Valley Veterans Council.
“We provide for housing in the form on rent assistance, mortgages, utilities; some small car repairs for those automobiles that are needed for employment purposes,” he said.
One of Jim’s first goals was to raise at least $10,000 for the organization in an effort to provide those services.
“The group around the table thought that was totally out of our league, but we knew we’d have to restructure and become something different,” he said.
To generate more funds, the council moved to become a charitable non-profit, and it has paid off in a big way.
“This is our 10th year in existence as a charitable, and we’re looking to put $1 million on the street in veterans’ assistance,” he said.
Jim also gives back through his memberships with the American Legion, DAV, AM-Vets and the Military Officers Club of Northeast Wisconsin.
“It’s important to be a part of those organizations, not only to provide information in terms of what the council is doing, but to know what those organization’s cares and concerns are as well,” he said. “This is what drives us because we recognize that we are veterans-centric organization, so we’re veterans helping our other veterans.”
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