Masters named veterans service officer of the year in Texas

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Brown County Judge Paul Lilly speaks with James Masters at the Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday morning.

Brown County can boast of having the veterans service officer of the year for the state of Texas.

James Masters, who has been the county’s veterans service officer for about five years, was recently awarded the Dan Garcia Memorial Achievement Award, which is for superior performance above and beyond the call of duty.

“It’s voted on by the membership on the awards committee," Masters said. “Dan Garcia was a long-term veteran service officer. I was very happy with it.”

Masters, who is a retired Army reservist, began working in the Brown County Veterans Service officer 17 years ago.

Masters, an Abilene native, enlisted in the Army in 1973. He left the Army as a sergeant, then attended McMurry University and earned an Army commission through the ROTC. He then served as an active duty officer with the National Guard.

He retired in late 2003, figuring his military career was over, and joined the National Guard at Camp Bowie.

In the summer of 2004, Masters learned that the Army was asking specialty officers who’d been retired for less than five years to consider returning to the service. He was motivated by patriotism and duty to answer that call.

“My country, my Army,” Masters said in an earlier interview.

Masters went on to serve in Iraq before leaving the military for good.