When he returned to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1971, it was with a Purple Heart awarded for wounds received in action. He also earned Combat Medic Badge; Parachute Jump Wings; Army Good Conduct Medal: Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class Unit Citation, and Vietnam Service Medal with one Service Star.
He enrolled at Riverside Community College (RCC) with the GI Bill. He thought he would be a police officer. After, he transferred to Cal State LA to pursue a degree in administration of justice, but ended up on a different career track when he took an entry level job driving a ready mix truck.
Like many military veterans, Jim found the transition from military service to construction materials very natural. The schedule, discipline, teamwork and values among aggregate producers were well suited to what he had learned in the military.
“The best part was that every day you knew exactly what you were going to do that day. And at the end of the day, you knew you would be home on time. While I appreciated the certainty of a fixed schedule and assignment when I first started out, now I find that I love the challenge and excitement of something new every day. People say, I wouldn’t have your job and I respond, you can’t have it anyway because I love it. I’m passionate about the work we do and the difference it makes. You see the results of your work on the roads you drive, the house you live in, and the park your kids play in.”
– Jim Gore, Vulcan Materials Company, Veteran
In over forty years in the business, Jim moved steadily up the ranks. After more than six years as a driver, he became a heavy equipment operator and then moved to plant maintenance. When he was approached to take on the safety officer job, he readily accepted the move up and just kept moving – first to purchasing, then to contracts and finally into permitting projects.
For Jim Gore, making a difference matters.