Lt. Col. Jim Green served for 26 years in the United States Air Force. He flew C-130s for eight years of active duty. He is a veteran of the Vietnam and Persian Gulf conflicts and had over 20,000 flying hours in military and civilian aircrafts.
He participated in the Raid of Grenada in 1983 was the first reserve C-130 pilot to go into the Gulf War. In 1978, he joined the Air Force Reserve and was a part of the 94 th Airlift Wing and continued to fly for the Reserve until the summer of 1992.
In May 1992, he experienced a harrowing accident at his home in Lake Oconee. While cutting a piece of wood with a radial saw, the blade flew off of the saw due to a loose bolt and almost completely severed his forearm from his body. Luckily, his military training had prepared him to tackle the situation without panicking. He called an ambulance, fashioned a tourniquet out of some rope and had his arm reattached during a six-hour surgery.
Green was determined to fly and water ski again after the accident and he was quoted saying, “My thought was never if I was going to fly and ski someday, but when. There are a lot of things that happen in life that we can actually overcome through a little motivation.”
With extreme dedication to his physical therapy appointments and long days of performing exercising at home, he was eventually able to return to his favorite activities. He resumed water skiing in June of 1993 and later flew his first flight since the accident as a civilian pilot for USAir.
He continued to serve in a non-flying position as the 94 th Airlift Control Flight commander but wanted to return to flying C-130s for the Reserve. He eventually achieved this goal as well in April of 1994 and two years later in 1996, Green flew his last C-130 flight at Dobbins Air Reserve Base
Green says he spends his Veterans Days at the Lake Oconee Elks Lodge No. 2849 where they hold a program to remember those who have served our country. He now serves as the state Elks Representative for the Carl Vincent VA Hospital in Dublin.