While growing up in New York Jim attended Rye High School where he ran track and wrestled. In his senior year he was undefeated and named to the All-county wrestling team. After high school he attended Alfred University in Upstate New York where he earned his BA Degree in Economics and English Literature in 1966.
Soon after he received his draft notice late in 1966 and reported for active duty in February 1967. While in the military he was promoted rapidly through the ranks. He completed helicopter training in April 1969 and reported May of 1969 to duty with the 11th Armored Calvary regiment (Air Cav Troop) known as the “Blackhorse”. He was shot down several times while serving in Vietnam earning him the nickname “magnet ass”.
On January 17th, 1970, he was shot down and injured by enemy fire. Crawling out of his burning helicopter not sure what was next he grabbed his service pistol and was ready to fight to the death. Fortunately, God sent ARPS (Aero rifle platoon) scrambled and came to Jim’s rescue. He returned to duty May of 1970 in a walking cast. He was honorably discharged in September 1973 receiving a purple heart for his battle wounds.
In his spare time Jim loved to collect antiques including war memorabilia, records, jukeboxes, anything collectable. He also loved going to Sanibel Island one of his favorite places to go with his family. Also loved spending time at the VFW with his brothers and sisters of the military.
Jim accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and knew he would be in heaven waiting on the rest of his family to come home. Jim was a wonderful husband to his surviving wife Margaret Schaffer a great father to his two daughters Lisa Smith and Elizabeth Zdrodowski. He was also a wonderful grandfather to his two grandchildren Kelly Ivey and Drew Smith. He also left behind two great brothers John and Tom Schaffer. Jim was a great patriot who served his country proudly. He has had a great impact in many people’s lives and will be greatly missed by many.
Jim was a member of the Blackhorse and if someone would like to give to an organization on his behalf this would be one of them. Captain James Brian Schaffer will be laid to rest at Glenhaven Memorial Park at 2300 Temple drive, Winter Park, FL 32789 at 10am Saturday May the 7th.