A Hero’s Tale: Local Veteran shares story of trials, triumphs and time with former president

Highlighting our heroes and Veterans on Tennessee Valley Living

Heading to college on an ROTC scholarship, serving our country was always part of Jae Barclay’s story. He joined the Army in 2004 as an Infantry Officer and was later deployed to Afghanistan.

It was there in 2006 when his vehicle hit an IED, an Improvised Explosive Device, that burned half his body. He would later go through years of recovery work and surgeries as his body was healing from severe burns. Slowly but surely, Barclay regained his strength.

He found himself playing in George W. Bush’s Warrior Open, a competitive golf tournament for men and women injured on the front lines. When Bush and Barclay met, they shared stories, one of which the former president talked about his love for painting. Bush decided he wanted to paint portraits of the great Americans he’s met and become friends with over the years. Barclay was one of the men Bush decided to paint.

The portrait of Jae Barclay can be found in Bush’s book,  “Portrait’s of Courage: A Commander In Cheif’s Tribute to America’s Warriors.”

Now living in Gurley, Alabama, Barclay says he is thankful for The Semper Fi and America’s Fund, a program that walks alongside wounded warriors and their families. He says if anyone wants or needs help, don’t hesitate to reach out to the organization.

From all of us here at TVL, we thank Jae Barclay for his service to this country any other service members or Veterans for their great sacrifice.