Freedom Fighters: Jim Brettell - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

6/29/07-Tyler

Freedom Fighters: Jim Brettell

Jim Brettell began his military career at the age of sixteen when he joined the Merchant Marines in 1944 during World War Two. The wounds he received during the invasion of Okinowa were to be his only wounds, although he was often in the line of fire.

After the war, Brettell joined the Army. He was only eighteen. After Officers Candidate School, Brettell went to Korea as a cCmbat Engineer. During the last battle for Pork Chop Hill, Brettell lost 65% of his company and earned two bronze Stars for his bravery.

In 1952, Brettell was assigned to head up "Camp Desert Rock" Nevada for the staging and evaluation of atomic bomb testing. During that time, he was only two ad a half miles from the test sites of nine atomic bombs. Most authorities believe Brettell's six cancers, including lung cancer and melanoma, are the results of radiation exposure . And yet, all things considered, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Brettell says he's "proud to have served his country."

Joan Hallmark, Reporting joanhallmark@kltv.com

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