State Senator John Liu inducted College Point resident James “Jim” Black into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame on May 29.
The Hall of Fame was established in 2005 to honor to recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves in both military and civilian life.
“James Black answered our nation’s call and pledged himself to defend our lives at home and our values abroad. We are eternally grateful for his dedicated service, which continues to this day with his involvement in our community and as Commander of the College Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 885,” Liu said. “On this Memorial Day, I’m proud to induct him into the NYS Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame. We owe him our deepest gratitude and respect.”
For Black, being inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame is a great privilege and an honor.
“I’d like to thank Senator Liu for this recognition, and especially all the servicemen and women of the military who I had the privilege to serve alongside and those who continue to serve today,” Black said.
Black was drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He achieved the rank of Field Artillery Specialist 4 (SP4) and received an Honorable Discharge in 1972.
Black grew up in College Point and is the middle child of eight brothers and sisters. He attended St. Fidelis Grammar School and Thomas Edison High School. During his teenage years, he played drums in a band of four with his fellow high school friends. They would play at local and surrounding community events and school dances, in addition to a few summers in upstate New York, at various Catskill Mountain resorts.
After high school, Black had planned on starting a career as a long-haul truck driver, but he started working locally, right out of high school for his brother’s manufacturing business in College Point.
Black grew up in a military family. His father, brother, uncles and cousins all served in either World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War.
Black was drafted into the U.S. Army in June 1970 and went to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He had Advanced Individual Training for radio mechanics at Fort Benning, Georgia, and trained in Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, prior to shipping to Vietnam on New Year’s Day in 1971. He served in Field Artillery Specialist 4 (SP4) for 10 months and returned to the United States at Fort Hood, Texas, before his honorable discharge in January 1972.
For his time and service to this nation, Black received multiple medals and commendations, including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and Sharpshooter Rifle.
Upon his discharge, Black returned home to College Point and continued working for his brother’s manufacturing business for 32 years. After his service in the military, Black stayed active in the community. He coached Little League and served as the Commodore of Skyline Sportsman Club for 15 years. He has been a proud member of the College Point Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 885 for over 40 years and has served as the current commander for the last two years.
He met his wife, Jane, at a school dance and they have been happily married for 47 years.