A TRIBUTE TO Operations Specialist First (Surface Warfare) JAMES A. GRECO United States Navy (Retired) (deceased) October 19, 1954 – December 20, 2005 Jim Greco, Sr. of Shorewood, Wisconsin found peace on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at the young age of 51. Beloved husband of Lisa (nee Kelling). Dear father of James J. Greco and James A. Greco Jr., Loving grandfather of Reese Greco. Beloved son of John and Marie Greco of Utica, NY, Brother of John Greco and Charlene Greco-O'Neil. Further survived by other family, friends, and American Legion comrades. In addition to his beloved family, Jim‟s greatest love was the United States Navy. Most people who knew him weren‟t aware that Jim was a very proud and highly-decorated Navy veteran. Jim proudly spent sixteen of his twenty years at sea, mostly serving in the Mediterranean, Desert Storm, and other Middle Eastern conflicts. He went on 9 deployments and proudly served on five different ships: 1977-81 - USS Elmer Montgomery (FF 1082) 1981-84 - USS Saratoga (CVA 60) 1986-89 - USS Doyle (FFG 39) 1989-91 - USS Paul (FF 1080) 1993-97 - USS John Hancock (DD 981) Jim‟s Navy awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, two Navy Achievement Medals, Air Force Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, Battle “E” Award, Coast Guard Unit Commendation, two Naval Expeditionary Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, two Southwest Asia Service Medals, nine Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, five Good Conduct Awards, and Navy Pistol and Rifle Expert ribbons. After retiring from the USS John Hancock in Mayport in 1997, Jim worked as the Divisional Credit Manager of a Heilig-Meyers furniture store, eventually becoming the Manager of a Sticks „n Stuff store in Orange Park, Florida. He met his current wife, Lisa, at the base swimming pool, while serving on the Elmer Montgomery in Bahrain in 1979. Twenty-two years later, in 2001, she discovered his name on an Elmer Montgomery shipmate‟s website and contacted him. They reconnected and were eventually married in September 2003. After his retirement and to remain connected to his Navy and military family, Jim became very active in the American Legion, both in Florida and in Milwaukee, even becoming the Commander of the John F. Kennedy Post in Milwaukee, and a District Finance Officer for the Wisconsin American Legion. The American Legion performed a beautiful memorial service in Milwaukee, including a roll call, a 21-gun salute, and the presentation of an American Flag to his wife. As Jim requested, his ashes will be scattered at sea off Mayport, Florida. Jim was a good man, an exceptional sailor, a true patriot, and a wonderful friend. His families and friends in Utica, New York, Jacksonville, Florida, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin will always remember him with much love and happiness. He lives on in a world more beautiful than anything we can ever imagine!
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