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News Release
Freeman, Little and Barnett
Freeman, Little and Barnett
08-09-22 Local Veterans Little and Barnett Honored with Prestigious National Award (Photo) - 08/10/22

DOUGLAS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 9, 2022 

 

Local Veterans Little and Barnett Honored with Prestigious National Award

 

(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas County Commissioners Tim Freeman, Chris Boice and Tom Kress are elated to announce that not one, but two local Douglas County Veterans recently received National Awards.  Commissioner Tim Freeman was honored to be invited to as a special guest for an award ceremony in Ashland, Oregon for the National Chapel of Four Chaplain’s Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion Award presentation for Douglas County resident, Chief Warrant Officer James S. Little (U.S. Navy Retired). The Bronze Medallion is the Second Highest Honor and is presented annually to a very select group of individuals in the United States by the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation.  The medallion is bestowed only to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the well-being of others at the State, Regional or National level, and whose very life epitomizes the spirit of the sacrifice of the Four Chaplains.  Unbeknownst to Commissioner Freeman and other invited guests, a second Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion Award was presented to another Douglas County resident, 1st Sergeant Jim Barnett (U.S. Marine Corps Retired) that same evening. 

 

James S. Little was nominated for the prestigious award by Commissioner Tim Freeman, Mary Newman-Keyes, the Douglas County Veterans Service Director, and Staff Sergeant John Pierson (U.S. Air Force Retired), Member of the Douglas County Veterans Advisory Committee and President of Military Honors by the Pipes (a non-profit organization that plays bagpipes for military funerals at no cost to the families).  He was nominated by the trio for his lifetime of selfless service to our country and to his fellow veterans.

 

Little proudly served our county for three decades as a Nuclear Weapons Specialist in the United States Navy (1960-1991).  During his distinguished Navy career, he received 29 service medals and ribbons, as well as various letters of appreciation and commendation.  Paramount to his career was the Meritorious Service Medal, which was awarded to him by the President of the United States, for his outstanding non-combat service to the United States of America.  Since retiring from the Navy, Little has humbly dedicated his life to volunteer work on behalf of his fellow servicemen and women.  As a prolific writer, he has utilized his writing talent in his advocacy work for veterans, and in publishing a memoir chronicling his adventures in the United States Navy, entitled, “Brotherhood of Doom: Memoirs of a Navy Nuclear Weaponsman.” While his military career was spent mostly shrouded in secrecy, the significant contributions he achieved while serving in the military, and now in retirement honorably serving the veteran community, are no secret. In support of the trio’s nomination, they illustrated four of Little’s distinguished accomplishments that garnered national attention for his noble and selfless leadership working with local veterans groups on the Veterans Cremains Project, the Unclaimed Baby Cremains Project, Save Our Roseburg VA Campaign and the Roseburg State Veterans Home Project. He continues working with the group on their mission to ensure that no veteran is ever left behind, and in working with state legislators to change state laws pertaining to unclaimed cremains. Little has never wavered in his dutiful leadership to our local veteran community.  His efforts on the Save our Roseburg VA Campaign resulted in the passing of a resolution by the Oregon State Legislature in support of restoring Roseburg VAMC to a full-service hospital.  Little has received the local Chapel of Four Chaplain’s Legion of Honor Award and is a Master of Ceremonies, presenter & co-organizer of the Legion of Honor Award Program in Roseburg with Jim Barnett.  Additionally, he serves on the Douglas County Veterans Advisory Committee and is a local Representative at Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs advisory meetings.  Little is an active member of Douglas County Veterans Forum, Vietnam Veterans Affairs, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fleet Reserve Association, Douglas County Vet Net, Award Winning Roseburg Veterans Day Parade, Annual Memorial Day Ceremony, Oregon National Guard events for 7th Battalion 158th Regiment Charlie Company, Remembering America’s Heroes & Living History Days, and the annual wreath laying at Roseburg National Cemetery. He also officiates, attends and assists with numerous Military Honors Services, advocates on behalf of Roseburg National Cemetery and coordinates Stand Down events for Roseburg and Medford and so much more.  Little is affectionately known in the community as the “Veterans Advocate, Advocate” 

 

Little is a true champion for other veterans.  His impact on veterans and our community is incredibly profound. He leaves people and organizations stronger, and better, because of his influence. His insight and knowledge are matched only by his honorable and generous heart. Selflessly tenacious, dutifully conscientious, relentlessly industrious, Little’s charisma and lionhearted approach to life epitomizes the spirit of the sacrifice of the Four Chaplains,” proudly stated Commissioner Tim Freeman. 

 

Jim Barnett was nominated for the prestigious award by T.J. Morgan, National Junior Vice Commandant and Corporate Treasurer for the National Marine Corps League.  He was nominated for his service to our country, commitment to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and for the work he has done for fellow veterans. 

 

Barnett entered the USMC at the age of 17 with four of his best friends, shortly after the Korean War broke out. They attended boot camp together in San Diego.  Although he was too young for combat, he was enlisted and assigned to the Naval brig in San Diego for guard duty.  Barnett proudly served our country for 20 years in the USMC and is a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. He served as a drill instructor for the ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and has also worked as a Marine recruiter. It is amazing to note that he still keeps in touch with his past students and continues to honor them for their success.  Barnett, who is nearly 90 is still very active with his brethren in the USMC and in his community.  In support of the nomination, he was recognized for his accomplishments and efforts in fundraising and establishing two major USMC National Memorial Monuments at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, and for spearheading the campaign to create and place a memorial in Roseburg in honor of Major General Marion Carl, a highly decorated ace pilot for the USMC who was tragically killed during a home invasion in Glide in 1998.  The memorial, which Barnett was instrumental in helping to raise $35,000 for, was placed at the Roseburg Regional Airport and includes a bronze likeness of the Major General. He made sure that the cement foundation of the memorial contained soil from each of the battlegrounds over which Carl fought.  Another noteworthy project for Barnett was the coordination, fundraising and installation of the life-size military uniform memorial enclosure at the American Legion Post #16.  The 18½ foot enclosure features various military uniforms from all branches of the military.  He has also received the local Chapel of Four Chaplain’s Legion of Honor Award, the Marine of the Year Award from the Marine Corps League and is a Master of Ceremonies, presenter & co-organizer of the Legion of Honor Award Program in Roseburg with Jim Little.  Additionally, Barnett is an active member of the Marine Corps League, Drill Instructors West Coast Association, Toys for Tots Annual Program, American Legion Post #16, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Remembering America’s Heroes & Living History Days, Annual wreath laying at Roseburg National Cemetery event and many others.  He enjoys working on and sharing Korean War history with various groups all over the United States, traveling everywhere supporting USMC events and fundraisers and stopping by USMC Base Camp Pendleton to visit his USMC brothers on the drill field.  Also, it goes without saying that his famous USMC Museum in his home is second to none.  His collection of over 1,500 pieces of Marine Corps memorabilia from coins to posters to bulldogs is made complete with boxes filled with soil collected from every USMC base in the world, as well as all the major World War II battlefields. 

 

Jim Barnett is one of the finest servant leaders I know. Throughout Jim’s time in the USMC, during his time as a teacher for Notre Dame ROTC program and in retirement has given back 100-fold to his community and beyond,” stated TJ Morgan. “It was my honor to nominate Jim Barnett for this award. His country, his fellow Marines and the Marine Corps League are all proud to call him ours.

 

Dignitaries traveled from the Chapel of Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to present the prestigious Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion Award to both Jim Little and Jim Barnett.  Representing the Chapel of the Four Chaplains and presenting the award was Lieutenant Colonel Kirk Michelson (U.S. Army Retired) and Master Sergeant William Kaemmer (U.S. Army Retired), who is the Director of Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation.  The event was held at Dana Campbell Vineyards in Ashland, Oregon.  Vineyard owners and event hosts were Patrick Dana Flannery Senior Chief (US Navy Retired) & Paula Campbell Brown 2 Star Admiral (US Navy Retired).  The event was sponsored by Umpqua Bank’s Medford Community and Business Baking Center and also included presentation of Four Chaplains special recognition awards to David’s Chair, whose mission is, “to enrich the lives of mobility impaired people with independence and freedom by empowering them to engage in outdoor activities they previously were unable to, free of charge.”  Also attending the ceremonious event were Commissioner Tim Freeman’s wife Angelia; Jim Barnett’s wife Ann; Jim Little’s wife, Carmen Little and Kellie Trenkle, Douglas County Public Affairs Specialist.  Of special note, Commissioner Freeman, Mary Newman-Keyes, John Pierson, Ann Barnett and Carmen Little are also past recipients of the annual local Legion of Honor Award in Roseburg.  For more information about the Four Chaplains and the Legion of Honor, log onto their website at http://fourchaplains.org/.

 

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Media Contact:     Tamara Howell, Douglas County Emergency Communications & Community Engagement Specialist Office (541) 957-4896 | Cell (541) 670-2804 | Email tjhowell@co.douglas.or.us

Photos Attached.  Additional photos available upon request.

  1. William Kaemmer pictured with Bronze Medallion recipients Jim Barnett and Jim Little, and Commissioner Tim Freeman.
  2. Commissioner Tim Freeman, wife Angelia; Jim Little and wife, Carmen and Jim Barnett and wife Ann.

 

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