The City of Milton will hold its ninth annual Memorial Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30 at Freedom Park, 13200 Deerfield Parkway (click here for directions).
Our speaker will be Lieutenant General James Helmly, USA (ret).
James Ronald Helmly grew up in Savannah, Georgia. He attended high school there and was enrolled in the Junior ROTC program. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1966, attending Basic Training at Fort Gordon, Georgia and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Following school, he received his commission as a second lieutenant and went on to complete the Basic Airborne course.
In September 1967, Helmly joined Company B, 3d Battalion (Airborne), 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as a platoon leader. As such, he served in Vietnam, an experience he says shaped the outlook of his entire life and provided essential lessons about the need for professional leadership by people of good character and disposition. He also learned the importance of soldiers and leaders having self-confidence and training to standard.
As an Army Reserve Soldier, Lieutenant General Helmly held logistics and operations positions in the 87th Maneuver Area Command and the 81st Army Reserve Command (ARCOM). He commanded the 352nd Maintenance Battalion in Macon, GA, and the 449th Area Support Group in Forest Park, GA. He was also the Deputy Chief of Staff for Training and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel of the 81st ARCOM.
Lieutenant General James R. Helmly was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for promotion and appointment as Chief of the Army Reserve in May, 2002. During his tenure as Chief of the Army Reserve he managed the mobilization of more than 147,000 Army Reserve soldiers in support of the Global War on Terror. He developed a progressive and cyclic training strategy that prioritized resources, managed readiness levels, improved facilities, adapted training to ever changing battlefield conditions, and streamlined Command and Control of the Army Reserve Forces. In May, 2006, he was assigned to Islamabad, Pakistan, as the Chief Representative of the Office of Defense.
Among Lieutenant General Helmly’s numerous awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device and three Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge and Ranger Tab. He was inducted into the Infantry Hall of Fame in 1996.
Lieutenant General Helmly married his wife, Maria, on March 6, 1970, just before he left for his second tour in Vietnam. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Please join us to remember the sacrifices made for our freedom.