Local Marine Corps veteran continues to serve at the VA

Press release from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In observance of Veteran’s Day, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is celebrating an outstanding local Gainesville Veteran, Marine Corps Sgt. Terry James

Sgt. James served as an infantryman in Iraq from 2003 to 2008. He began his military career at age 17 and was deployed to Iraq three times during his five years of service. In keeping with the Marines’ “Semper Fi” motto, he learned that he was much more resilient than he thought, and he now says his greatest honor was passing on the knowledge by training other Marines for combat. 

After leaving the military, Sgt. James turned to working for the VA. He loves to teach and train people, and he has been able to put that into practice at the VA by training employees to serve veterans. Sgt. James currently serves as the Employee Whole Health Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Whole Health Program is an approach to healthcare that empowers and equips Veterans to take charge of their health and well-being, and live life to the fullest. It focuses on self-care, skill-building, and support. These services are not diagnosis or disease-based; they are offered to support the personal health plan of each Veteran. Approaches such as stress reduction, yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, nutrition, acupuncture, and health coaching are available. 

One of his most significant recent accomplishments was creating the “Gym in a Box,” a kit containing an under-the-desk bicycle, resistance bands, and a kettlebell to help his fellow VA employees stay physically active while working at the office.

Sgt. James continues to serve our country daily and make our local Gainesville community proud. Today and every day, we thank you for your service, Sgt. James!

Laurie Reisman, LCSW, is the Whole Health Program Director at the North Florida / South Georgia Veterans System. To learn more about the VA Whole Health program, visit https://www.va.gov/north-florida-health-care/programs/whole-health/

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