THOMASVILLE — Dr. James Llewellyn "Jim" Story Jr. has been named to the Georgia Military Veterans' Hall of Fame Class of 2020 for valor shown while serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
The Thomasville physician is one of 16 Georgia veterans evaluated and chosen for the honor by an independent selection committee and 10 Georgia veterans.
Story is among 131 Georgia veterans chosen — from 338 nominations — for the Hall of Fame since its inception in 2013.
Story was nominated by U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Howard Floyd, a Thomasville resident, who served 26 years in infantry, intelligence and staff assignments.
After completing medical school and an internship, Story joined the Army as a volunteer. Six weeks later, he shipped out to Vietnam in August 1966.
"It was my job to take care of the men in my battalion," Story said.
He "never became involved" in whether the United States military should be in Southeast Asia.
Neither did Story ever think about being killed.
"I had thoughts about taking care of the next person," the 80-year-old physician said.
Story was struck by shrapnel. He saw a medic, who survived, working beside him get injured.
"I never was afraid," he said. "I thought the good Lord was taking care of me, and I was taking care of the men."
Three men in his battalion became four-star generals. One was Alexander Haig, President Ronald Reagan's secretary of state and chief of staff under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Story was taking cover in a foxhole, when then-Lt. Col. Haig told him, "'You need to be digging in real good.'"
Story was awarded two Bronze Stars for meritorious achievement, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the Combat Medical Badge, the Solider's Medal and the Silver Star.
He said he is humbled by Floyd's nomination to the Hall of Fame.
After leaving the Army at the rank of captain in 1968, Story, who grew up in Pelham and Sylvester, came to Thomasville in 1972, and established a medical practice. In 1997, he was named Archbold Memorial Hospital vice president of medical affairs and later, in 2000, Archbold president, a position he held until 2007, when he became Archbold president emeritus.
Today, he is chairman of the board of Georgia Partnership for Telehelp and the Global Partnership for Telehealth.
Story and his wife of 55 years, Carolyn, have directed the Rose City Run for 43 years.
The couple has two children: James Llewellyn "Jamie" Story III, district vice president of AIG Retirement Services in Macon, and Shawn Marie Story, an attorney and deputy legislative counsel for the Georgia General Assembly.
Story said the Vietnam War did not affect him like it did younger soldiers. He knew he would be there a year.
He never awakened at night and recalled what happened.
Hall of Fame nominees will be inducted in early November in Columbus and presented later at the Georgia Capitol.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820