LAKE PLACID - Gunners Mate 1st Class James D. Staats, of Lake Placid, retired from the U.S. Navy Reserves on May 1 after more than 27 years of distinguished military service.
Staats enlisted in the Navy in April of 1986 on the delayed entry program prior to graduating from the Lake Placid Central High School that same year. He reported to boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., on Sept. 12, 1986, starting his military career.
Staats completed several deployments while serving onboard the Guided Missile Frigate, USS Simpson, FFG-56, including once in 1988 and again in 1989 to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Fox and Desert Shield. He transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves in 1991 while attending SUNY Plattsburgh and spent two-and-a-half years with the 962nd Ordinance Company stationed in Plattsburgh. Staats returned to the Navy Reserves in 1994, where he spent the remainder of his career. He was activated in 2003, serving aboard the USNS Kilauea, Military Sealift Command Ammunition Supply Ship, during Operation Enduring Freedom.
1st Class James D. Staats
Staats said he "is proud to be an American, proud to have served his country for so long" and credits the Navy for molding him into the true patriot he is today.
He is still serving today as a member of the Lake Placid American Legion Post 326 and a police officer for the Lake Placid Village Police Department. He says serving his community is equally rewarding as serving his country.