United States Army Specialist James Donaldson was born in Spokane, Washington. He was raised in Mountain Home, Idaho in a very poor and toxic household. As a child he was very passionate about sports, mainly basketball, baseball, and football.
Donaldson joined the United States Army in 2003, inspired by his rough upbringing. He wanted something better for himself and it was an easy way for him to get out of the house. Upon his enlistment Donaldson served in the 2-116th Armor Unit and eventually earned the rank of Specialist. He loved that the military enabled him to help those in need, meet new friends, and create new memories.
In July of 2005 Donaldson and his unit just finished up doing a joint mounted patrol with the Iraqi Police when an explosion went off. As a result of the blast, Donaldson had his left leg above the knee amputated, right leg below the knee amputated, right index finger amputated, and right middle finger broken and almost cut off. The road to recovery was far from easy for Army Specialist James Donaldson who had to relearn how to walk, attend physical therapy, and still deals with bone spur issues with his left leg.
Donaldson now resides in Riverview, Florida with his wife and two children. He is currently working on completing his Masters Degree and enjoys playing sports, mainly wheelchair football and basketball, along with bowling, archery, tennis, and anything else he has the opportunity to be involved in.
United States Army Specialist James Donaldson would like to share an important piece from his story, “That even though I grew up in a toxic household, a poor household, I was still able to become a better person, I was able to do great things, and even after I was injured I was able to go to school, have my own house, cars, and an amazing wife. Just because life gave me a crap ton of lemons doesn’t mean I couldn’t make them useful.” – SPC James Donaldson.