James Ballard grew up in upstate New York on his parents’ dairy farm surrounded by 25,000 apple trees and 5,000 hogs. His family raised chickens and sold the eggs to the local grocery store and markets in the area. After living on the farm for 10 years James was ready to escape small-town life. The U.S. Army was his ticket out and gave him a chance to see the country and what could be a better adventure he thought. He enlisted in the Army at 16. By the time his unit deployed to Korea in 1985, he quickly became homesick after leaving his girlfriend behind.