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View a eulogy for James J. Walton, USMA '89, who passed away on June 21, 2008.

James J. Walton

West Point, 1989

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Mike Fischer on June 25, 2008:

Lot of thoughts running through my head right now, but I wanted to try and post something. I had the good fortune of knowing Jim for 4 years at West Point and have had intermittant contact with him since. I've always been impressed with Jim's zest for life...he was always able to work around life's little obstacles, keep a smile on his face, and do some amazing things.

The last time I saw Jim was my best memory of him. It was about 10 years ago (scary that its been so long) and he was in Greenville, SC training to break some group parachuting record later that year. He was on leave from a tour in Korea and had just managed a branch transfer from Infantry to Aviation (no small feat).

So he talked me into joining him for a skydive and I did a one day crash course to get ready. My pride wouldn't allow me to do a tandem jump, so I got approval to jump with him and two instructors to keep an eye on me. The primary plane broke down and the 4 of us has to squeeze into a tiny little Cessna...then they made me crawl out on a wing strut and wait for the instructors to get in position to grab hold of me before I let go. Needless to say I was a bit tentative crawling out on a wing strut at 10K feet and I remember Jim was just laughing at me and cheering me on.

So as difficult as it was to hear about his loss, I'm glad to read from others that he never lost that same spirit for life...biking long distances to run a marathon...serving his country on multiple combat tours...taking care of his soldiers and leading from the front. I know Jim was living the live he wanted to live and loving every minute of it.

I'm proud to have known him.

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