Timothy Jemison served our country from 1985 through 1988. I was born in Pine Bluff and raised in Los Angeles. “I hadn’t planned on joining the Army. I had a job but truthfully, I was mad at my boss and walked off. I passed a recruiting office and joined up! But it’s no surprise. I come from a military family. My maternal grandfather was a WWI Veteran, and my dad and 5 of his brothers served in WWII. An uncle served in Vietnam and other members of my family also served.”
After boot camp at Fort Knox and advanced infantry training at Fort Sill, he was stationed in Germany. As a communications specialist repairing radios in armored vehicles. While in the service he married and had two children. “We had known each other since we were fifteen.” The couple eventually had four more children. “And I have ten grandchildren!” Mr. Jemison stated proudly.
After leaving the service, Mr. Jemison returned to California and began his career working on airplanes. “I worked for a company called Northrup; we built planes for Boeing.” But at 47, Mr. Jemison discovered he had some major health issues. “I had three heart attacks. The first two I ignored, but the last one happened at work and they got me to the hospital. I ended up having a quadruple bypass. Eventually I had five different surgeries including getting an internal cardio-defibrillator.”
But the health issues continued. Mr. Jemison found out he was diabetic. He went into kidney failure. And in June 2022, he had a stroke. He is now retired on 100% VA disability and SSDI. “I know I don’t look like I have health issues. I joke that I look young on the outside, but my insides are about 100 years old.”
He relocated to Arkansas last year after visiting his uncle. “I knew I wanted to move her, but I knew I had to find my own place. Like my space. So I went back to California and began looking for resources for Veterans. I actually found St. Francis House using Google. When I moved here, I came to St. Francis House first and they told me I needed to go to the Day Treatment Center for the referral. I did and they sent me here.”
“I’ve already found an apartment in Bryant and will be leaving soon. St. Francis House has been a huge help in getting me relocated. Most Veterans don’t like to ask for help, but if you’ll say you need help, the resources are out there!”