U.S. Army/Vietnam Veteran (ret.)
Walter Reed Hospital
Jim Mayer has a long history of service to and advocacy for America’s military service members, veterans, and their families. A former U.S. Army infantryman, a Vietnam vet, and a double below-the-knee amputee, he began his career at the Department of Veteran Affairs and just retired this year as Outreach Coordinator at the Wounded Warrior Project, where he dedicated time to visiting and assisting wounded, injured, and ill warriors and their families at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). Jim also created and directed a national WWP program to train wounded warriors, spouses, and caregivers to be certified Peer Mentors for more recently injured service members.
He remains active in volunteer work, serving as co-host of the weekly Aleethia Foundation free dinners for patients and families of WRNMMC; a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs; and President of the VA Alumni Association, an organization of retired employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In 2004, his volunteer work at Walter Reed was cited by Garry Trudeau in the comic strip Doonesbury as Jim, the “Milkshake Man.” His awards include: Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Courageous Spirit Award; Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service; and “ABC World News Tonight’s” Person of the Week, among others.
“Many military and VA clinicians and support personnel helped me heal and live a great life.
I’ve tried since to pay that forward by assisting America’s wounded, injured
and ill service members and their families.”