Colonel (Ret) James M. “Jim” Drake II
COL Drake was born on October 22, 1946 in Montpelier, Ohio to the late James Maurice Drake and Wilma Chestnut Drake. Jim attended Eastern Kentucky University where he enrolled in the Army ROTC program and was heavily involved in Pershing Rifles. He completed his education at EKU in 1969 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. He served proudly on active duty for nearly ten years. His service took him to Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. He served in various stateside duty stations including Fort Knox, Fort Sill, and Fort Lewis.
Jim discovered an opportunity to serve his Nation as well as the Commonwealth and joined the Kentucky National Guard in 1978. He served in numerous assignments in both Field Artillery and Aviation branches. His last assignment was on the Adjutant General’s staff as the Director of Personnel. COL Drake retired on April 30, 1995 with more than 26 years of military service. His numerous awards and decorations included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Master Army Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Jim loved music. In particular he enjoyed brass bands and American March music. He was quite an accomplished tuba player.
Drake was one of the founding members of the Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund and served on the board until his death. COL (Ret) James M. "Jim' Drake II passed away on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.