HARDWOOD, MI, USA U.S. Army SFC, 46TH MILITARY POLICE COMPANY, 759TH MILITARY POLICE BATTALION, KINGSFORD, MI BAGHDAD, IRAQ 11/23/2006
Sergeant First Class James D Priestap was a platoon leader for his Army National Guard unit in Baghdad, Iraq when he was shot and killed instantly by a sniper bullet in the heart on our Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2006. Jim left a wife, Connie, and two children, Frankie (girl then 10) and son Brody (boy then 8). He was 39.
Jim was known as being extremely active and like a “pied piper” with kids. Jim’s sister Lisa has 4 boys that adored Jim, as did his own two. When Jim would drive into Lisa’s yard the boys would all go running for him.
My wife Patrice called Jim “big kid” because he loved playing with them. Jim’s arrival meant FUN, like building a snow fort complete with Christmas lights.
Jim was a Navy diver and later scuba diver, small plane pilot, deputy sheriff, welder, and very into fitness.
In addition to Jim’s close sister Lisa he left his mother Denise, father Jim, sister Janet, and brother Rich.
Ironically, 10 minutes before Jim was killed he was photographed by one of his men handing out candy to Iraqi kids….and as per usual when being with kids Jim had a big grin on his face.