James Leroy Stevens, age 67

James Leroy Stevens, Major, United States Army (Ret.) passed away Thursday, June 27, following a long battle with cancer.

Born in Chicago, Ill. on June 9, 1946, to Norman and Isabelle Stevens, Jim attended Rich East High School in Park Forest, Ill. graduating in 1964. While attending college, Jim was called to Active Duty in 1966. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after completing Engineer Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in 1967.

Jim graduated from Jump School and became a member of the 101st Airborne Division serving with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam and was decorated with the Bronze Star, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal and two service medals. After a year-long tour, Jim returned stateside, was promoted to Captain, and attended Army Aviation School in Fort Wolters, Texas and Fort Rucker, Alabama where he became a pilot of the world’s first attack helicopter, the AH-1G “Cobra”. Jim returned to Vietnam for a second tour of duty in 1970 and was stationed at Camp Eagle near Phu Bai.

After returning from Vietnam, Jim was assigned as a Company Commander at The Presidio in San Francisco, Calif. At Fort Belvoir he later served as an instructor at the Engineering School and eventually retired as a Major after being stationed at both Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem, Ga. In addition, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Pepperdine University while serving on Active Duty. After retirement, Jim worked in real estate in Peachtree City until permanently retiring to his home in Florida where he was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association.

Surviving family members include his son and daughter and their spouses, Chief Warrant Officer 2 James and Aimee Stevens of Peachtree City, Ga., Michelle and Alex McGee of Atlanta, Ga., and his three grandchildren, Wyatt and Allison Stevens and Davis McGee. Jim is survived by his siblings Tom Stevens of Bartlett, Ill., Judy Tijerina of West Chicago, Ill. and Jerry Stevens of Hawthorne, Calif.

Services will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to: Puppies Behind Bars, 263 West 38th Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10018 or at www.puppiesbehindbars.com/home. This organization trains inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans.