1.20.21 Military Hero | Jim Edgerton- Air Force
1.20.21 Military Hero
Jim Edgerton- Air Force
James “Jim” Edgerton is the LA Clippers featured Military Hero for the Clippers vs. Kings matchup on January 20, 2021. Jim is a career Air Force veteran, who served for 21 years. He made Los Angeles his permanent residence in 2001 and has been a dedicated Clippers fan since 2002. When Jim thinks about what the Clippers stand for, he sees a reflection of himself and his journey.
“The Clippers are like me, down to Earth,” Jim says of picking the Clippers as his team. “Working behind the scenes. No glamour.”
The military is part of the Edgerton family. Jim’s father was in the United States Army and while stationed in Japan met Jim’s mother. He was born in Yokohama, Japan, and came to the U.S. as a young child. Jim spent most of his childhood in Junction City, Kansas, ultimately following in his father’s footsteps and enlisting in the Air Force in 1968 during the Vietnam War.
Jim attended technical school for avionic instruments and autopilot repair at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. Following his training, he was stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Jim recalls it was a challenging environment, segregation in Georgia was entrenched in the culture at the time. After “a little bit of protesting” he was transferred to Southeast Asia. Edgerton served in the Vietnam War from Thailand, where he performed maintenance on aircraft, including at times fusing bombs to planes at the end of the runway.
Jim says the military taught him everything he is today - how to operate in society, leadership skills, how to follow orders and to give them. A few career stops led Jim to Hickam Air Force Base in Oahu, Hawaii, where he performed maintenance on multiple aircraft and was also part of a satellite recovery unit that used helicopters to retrieve reconnaissance satellites re-entering the earth's atmosphere and landing in the Pacific Ocean.
While at Hickam Air Force Base, Jim worked double-time. He worked in his enlisted role while also studying for a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
After earning his degree, Jim was selected to attend Officer Training School. In June 1979 when he was commissioned, the Officer Corps was mostly made up of white men. Jim says entering the Officer Corps was one of his biggest accomplishments. It was also a great achievement for his father to witness. “He was most proud of me when I became an officer,” Jim says of his father, who served in the Army during World War Two when the services were segregated. “What he knew was the Officer Corps and the officers appointed above him were all white. There were no Black officers. So this was another realm, a different plateau.”
Jim retired in October 1989, and eventually found his way to Los Angeles in 2001 to help acquire the next-generation GPS and military communication satellites. In his new consulting role he also met his now-wife, Loula Moschonas. Loula was a long-time Clippers fan and season ticket holder when they met. Jim jokes that one of the reasons he fell for Loula was her season tickets! Jim and Loula have been married since 2009 and continue to go to Clippers games together.
“There’s a stick-to-itiveness about the Clippers that just keeps you driving forward and it’s easy to root for,” Jim says. “The Clippers are more like me at heart, and I like that.”
Check out the gallery below featuring some memorable moments of Jim and Loula from Clippers games throughout the years and some great photos from Jim’s time in service.