Army Veteran James Pirtle is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran James Pirtle, who served as a cryptologist and died during a battle in Afghanistan.

James Pirtle was born in 1988 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Growing up, he had a free spirit and loved to spend time outdoors taking advantage of what Colorado had to offer. Pirtle’s family previously served in the military. After graduating high school in 2006, he followed in the footsteps of those in his family and enlisted in the Army.

After completing his initial training, Pirtle served with the 1st Infantry Division based out of Fort Hood, Texas, as a cryptologist. He provided critical information essential to both the success on the battlefield as well as the lives of his fellow soldiers. In June 2008, Pirtle deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served in the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. He developed a highly-regarded reputation by frequently volunteering for missions that were known to be highly dangerous.

On May 1, 2009, Pirtle and his unit came under small arms fire by insurgents near the village of Nishagam, in Konar Province. At the age of 21, Pirtle died from wounds sustained in combat. He died along with two other teammates, one month before he was set to rotate home.

For his service, Pirtle’s awards include a Bronze Star Medal, an Army Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Editor: Steven Sullivan

Fact checker: Vivian Hurney

Graphic artist: Nikki Lumbre

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Published on Jan. 19, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 96


  1. Senior Veterans Care Network January 20, 2020 at 11:30 am

    We honor the service of James Pirtle.

  2. David D. Hatfield, SGM, US Army (Ret.) January 19, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Rest in Immortal Peace, most honorable James Pirtle, my honorable fellow cryptologist.

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