Chuck Jackson was born in 1920 as the second of four sons of Fred and Ethelyn Jackson. He grew up in Palmyra, Michigan where he lived most of his life. As boys, while attending school through the tenth grade in Palmyra, Chuck and his brothers helped work the family farmland and care for the cows.
Following his graduation from nearby Adrian High School in 1937, Chuck became a factory worker before marrying Imogean Phillips in January 1941 and starting a family. By the time the United States went to war, Chuck and Imo were expecting their first child, Robert James, who was born in July 1942. Their daughter Nancy arrived a year later.
The attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 inspired Chuck to serve in the military but he was reluctant to leave his pregnant wife. Finally, in May of 1944, feeling more secure about his family, Chuck enlisted in the Army. All four of the Jackson brothers served during the war, one in the Marines, two in the Army, and one in the Army Air Corps. After his discharge in 1945, Chuck returned to Michigan and in 1947 joined his father as he opened a new self-built gas station and garage. Chuck was a mechanic until he closed the business in 1977. In 1950, Chuck and Imo welcomed a third child (the author) to the family.
Chuck became a pillar of the small community of Palmyra, serving in many ways. He was an Assistant Chief and Chief for many of his twenty-seven years on the volunteer fire department, often leaving his work to respond to emergencies. Through the years Chuck served as an elder in his church, board leader for a new Boy Scout troop, neighborhood watch coordinator, president of the Michigan State Fireman’s Association, and generous friend to many who depended on him for late-night wrecker calls and help with their cars.
Amazingly, Chuck reaches his 100th birthday in June 2020. During his century of service to his family, friends, church, and country, he has lived through the depression; survived World War II; witnessed the Korean and Viet Nam conflicts, the terrorist strikes in September 2001, and the continuous battles in the Middle East; and through it all has raised the American flag almost every morning. Chuck continues to attend Memorial Day and Veterans Day events each year, setting an example for others by showing proper respect for the flag each time it passes. It’s his flag, the one he fought for in 1945.
John Jackson has enjoyed a broad range of experiences while pursuing simultaneous public careers, providing a strong foundation for his writing. While rising through the ranks as a municipal fire fighter, John became a state certified fire service trainer, later engaging in curriculum development and training for hazardous materials, terrorism, and emergency management. He served as a shift captain and interim chief before retiring from the fire service in 2008 as a Deputy Chief. John also pursued his Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development (Leadership) and went on to teach business and leadership courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Eventually he became the Program Manager for an undergraduate program in public services.
John also has a strong military background, having first served for four years in the Air Force and then twenty-four years in the Army Reserve, retiring in 2009 as a Master Sergeant (E-8). During his military service and later while working at the Pentagon for the Army Staff, John enjoyed writing and contributing to a range of documents including Army policies, intelligence reports, and NATO standards. As a reservist, John supported the Army’s European Command during a mobilization tour following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and later served a second mobilization tour at the Defense Intelligence Agency. John’s love of history, respect for his father, and close family ties inspired him to write From Mail to Mountain.