Friends remembered: James R. Ussery, Jr.

James R. Ussery, Jr., 69, of Havelock, N.C., died Feb. 15, 2017.  “Bob” was awarded the medal in 1982 to cite his actions of Aug. 15, 1981, by which he helped to save a 9-year-old boy from drowning in the Atlantic Ocean at Atlantic Beach, N.C.  Ussery, then a carpenter, 34, was fishing from a pier at the scene when he saw that the boy was being swept from shore by a current.  Ussery jumped feet first from the pier into the water and, despite incurring disabling injuries to his legs from hitting the ocean floor, managed to secure the boy and hold him to a piling until both could be rescued.  Ussery required lengthy hospitalization and numerous surgeries on his legs.  Up to the time of his passing he was given a monthly grant by the Hero Fund to help with the cost of living.