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Jim Burkett was born in a small coal mining town of West Virginia while his father was serving in Korea. Once his father returned, the family was transferred to Hawaii were they spent the next five years stationed at Hickum Air Force Base. While stationed in Hawaii, Jim spent as much time touring the submarines while they were in port as he was allowed.
Their next tour took them to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. For six years, he spent his weekends going with his father to the different base facilities, often allowed permission to spend time with the airmen and officers listening to and watching as they went about their assignments, working on the planes and transports mechanics. At the age of 13, he lost his father who by this time was serving overseas once again.
Years later, while pursuing a Computer Science degree, he met his future wife Cathy and they were married a year and a half later. Still married after 35 years, they have two sons and have been blessed with two grandchildren.
In addition to his current Senior Systems Analyst position, he also serves as a senior staff photographer for a local magazine in the Tampa Bay area. Previously, he wrote a column for the SouthWinds Sailing magazine and worked on several projects including spending a week photographing the Canadian Olympic Team prior to the Beijing Olympics and the “Earthrace” boat which would later set a world speed record circumnavigating the globe. In 2006, he received the “Volunteer of the Year” award for his work with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Through his photography and writing, he feels privileged to have met and spent time with such men as General Tommy Franks, George Steinbrenner, Pete Bethune and Steve Yerrid to name only a few. One of his closest friends is a retired Secret Service agent who once served on Presidential detail under six presidents.
Holding close to his military roots, he has continued to study military history and high-tech science and blends these into his first book Declaration of Surrender. Holding close to his two grandchildren, he has also developed a series of picture books for pre-readers and early readers called the Read With Me, Pops series.