James was born in Boston and raised in Winthrop. After graduating from Dom Savio High School in East Boston 2002, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17. James served a total of two years in the Marine Corps until he was Medically retired due to wounds received in Iraq in 2004 from a rocket attack at Al Asad Airbase. Upon returning to Boston he worked on passing legislation to fix the reduction of pay that occurred after being wounded and then removed from a combat zone. James met the Secretary of Veterans services Tom Kelly on November 10, 2004, at the Hynes convention Center, while attending the Simper Fidelis Society Marine Corps luncheon. As a result of an opportunity presented by Secretary Kelly, James is now an employee of The Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services as the Director of Outreach. In this position, James is primarily tasked with finding and assisting the commonwealth’s returning OIF OEF veterans with claims and readjustment issues, and with welcoming them home. James is an Operation Iraqi freedom Marine Corps Veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart.