Captain James Barclay’s military career began with an ROTC scholarship to North Georgia College. He graduated in 2004 and was commissioned as an Army Infantry Officer. Barclay then attended Officer Basic Course, Ranger School, and Airborne School. Upon completion, he was sent to Fort Drum where he was assigned to 3rd BCT 1-32IN. He went straight to a Rifle Platoon in Alpha Company and was the 2nd Platoon Leader. As the Platoon Leader, Barclay deployed in February 2006 to Afghanistan.
On August 19, 2006 an IED exploded under his vehicle killing three fellow soldiers and burning his body over 40%. After two years of surgeries and rehabilitation he medically retired in 2008. Barclay has had over 30 surgeries to correct facial and hand disfigurement and still has a half a dozen more before it is all said and done. Barclay’s injuries were severe and altered his ability to properly perform daily activities. These injuries however, did not alter his love for family, God, and Country. While in Afghanistan, he received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.
Barclay’s family played a pivotal role in his recovery by providing an environment where he could focus on healing and overcoming all of his wounds physically and mentally. He would not be to the point where he is today, without their support and love.
Upon reclaiming his life and getting back on his feet, Barclay made a decision to not let his battle scars define who he was going to be going forward. He is currently working as a Wholesale Property Insurance Broker for CRC Insurance Services. He is a member of the top producing property team for CRC which is the 2nd largest wholesale insurance company in the country. Barclay recently attained his CPCU accreditation which is considered the gold standard in insurance. He has used his past experiences in the service to guide him and lay a successful foundation in becoming an up-and-coming property broker.
Barclay is a board member for Disabled Veteran Insurance Careers, which is a nonprofit that helps Disabled Veterans gain meaningful employment in the insurance industry. In his spare time, he volunteers at his local Houston Goodwill Veteran outreach program helping provide hope to Veterans who have hit rock bottom. His main goal now is not to be remembered as just a wounded veteran, but as a loving husband, a role model to his children, and a valued asset in his community.
Barclay has participated in two Team 43 Warrior Opens and cherishes every opportunity Team 43 provides in reconnecting with fellow Wounded Veterans. Team 43 offers a competitive outlet for him to still participate and compete in a sport he grew up playing and loves. The ability to reengage with fellow Warriors who relate to the sacrifices both him and his family have made while still providing that competitive edge, goes a long way in making his “new normal” a reality. Team 43 has been instrumental in supplying Jae and his family a dynamic platform to network with not only his fellow veterans but also with key leaders in his community. This platform has given Barclay a multitude of possibilities in achieving success post injury. Team 43 has been and still is critical piece in creating an environment for him to lead and achieve his goals.
He is truly grateful for everything that Team 43 has provided and looks forward to working with them in the future.