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Harris led fiber optics team in Afghanistan

MADISON – Jimmy Harris, who grew up in Owens Cross Roads, joined the U.S. Army National Guard in 1989.

He completed Basic Training at Fort Jackson, S.C. He then finished AIT at Fort McClellan and training as Chemical Biological Nuclear Specialist (MOS 54B- NBC).

Harris was assigned to 279th Signal Battalion, 201st Patriot Battalion and 4/100th Chemical Training Unit — all in Huntsville.

In addition, Harris served with 128th MP Company in Athens, B Co. 115th Signal Battalion in Haleyville and C Co. 115th Signal Battalion in Huntsville.

In his deployments, Harris served as Army Chemical School Instructor, 74D CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear) at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. In southern Afghanistan, he worked as Team Chief with fiber optics team at Kandahar AFG.

On his first deployment to Afghanistan, Harris met an Afghan boy who gave him a handmade bracelet. Returning stateside, Harris gave the bracelet to his nephew.

His nephew gave some “Hot Wheel” vehicles to Harris for the Afghan boy as a return gift. When Harris returned to Afghanistan, he searched for and finally found the boy and presented the “Hot Wheels” on behalf of his nephew.

When Harris left the service, he had reached the rank of E5 Sergeant.

Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health from Columbia Southern University. He now works as Safety Manager for Turner Industries.

Jimmy and Kristie Harris moved to Madison in 1996 to raise their family. They have three sons: Christopher, who is in the U.S. Army; Alan, a U.S. Marine; and Brandon.

Jimmy Harris is a member of American Legion, Post 229 in Madison, Wounded Warrior Program and Gold Star Family.

He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and “really anything outdoors when the weather is good and Alabama football is not on TV.”

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