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Jim Starnes Honored as Hero of the Day at Recent Braves Game

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Jim Starnes, who has lived at the Park Springs retirement community since August 2004, experienced one of the most thrilling moments of his life during this year’s Veterans Appreciation Day at Turner Field.

Prior to the sixth inning at the May 18 Braves game, Mr. Starnes was honored as Hero of the Day. In front of the more than 38,000 people in attendance, he was driven around the field in an open convertible while pictures of him during his WWII service years were shown on the giant Jumbotron.

Every year around Memorial Day, the Braves organization hosts a special day to honor veterans of all branches of the military. One of the highlights of this event was when a great number of service men and women, including some who had just recently returned from Afghanistan, marched onto Turner Field holding a giant US flag.

U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Jim Starnes served on the USS Boise and USS Missouri. On September 2, 1945, he helped organize the official ceremony at which the Japanese formally surrendered to the Allied Forces and was responsible for greeting the Japanese delegation as they came aboard the USS Missouri.

Earlier, in October 1942 on board the USS Boise, Mr. Starnes fought in the Battle of Cape Esperance, a naval mission that was part of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Mr. Starnes, a father of six, often speaks to students and civic organizations about his role in history. “I hate to see people forget what happened during WWII. Freedom is an important thing.”

He credits his military training, in addition to his deep faith and respect for the law, for his professional success in life. He made sure that his four sons all joined the military, “the greatest training experience I could wish for them. This is where boys become men.”

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