James is third-generation military although if you asked his family, they've been warriors since time immemorial. His grandfather enlisted for World War II and came back with a Distinguished Service Cross. His father served in Korea and Viet Nam and "retired" as the sheriff of his reservation. His aunt was one of the first female missile technicians in the seventies and two of his uncles were Marines. The "black sheep" uncle became a Navy SEAL. His older brother, John, followed his uncles' footsteps and became a Marine but after a tour in Haiti he wanted to switch to the UN Peace Corps. Unfortunately, John died in one of the first tours in the Gulf War.
He's as proud of his Apache heritage as he is about being a Marine. A former Marine. James was outed as a mutant when he saved his commanding officer by lifting a tank off his legs. Then, he used the tank as a shield against ordinance before hurling it in the general direction of the insurgents. Which would have been okay with his squad if a visiting lieutenant colonel hadn't been a witness as well. There's no official law forbidding mutants from joining the armed forces but James was asked to voluntarily retire or be charged for conduct unbecoming a Marine following the incident.
"Are you angry about it?" I asked.
"I was," he said. "But my family is still proud
of me and so is my squad. Their opinion matters more than administrators
in fancy whites over at the Pentagon."