Habitat for Heroes

Specialist James Stevens

2017; East Peoria, IL


My name is James Stevens. I was born in Knoxville, Iowa on June 5, 1976. My brother and I bounced from foster home to foster home until we were adopted. I was five years old when we moved to Lynnville, IA with our new parents. Then in 1989, we moved to LeRoy, Illinois. Growing up I had no doubt what I wanted to do. I loved “GI Joe” action figures and war movies. I wanted to be a soldier. I met my first wife and she had a one-and-a-half-year-old baby girl named Kirstin, from a previous relationship. I became a dad and am still her dad today. In 2000, we brought another angel onto this Earth named Madison. Both of my daughters have been a complete blessing in my life, not only did I learn to be a dad but they have taught me lessons in life that have made me a better man. In 2010, I joined the Army and began infantry basic training where I learned a lot. In 2011, I moved to Fort Riley, Kansas and was to be stationed there until 2014. During my time at Fort Riley, I learned all about loyalty, duty, respect, and honor. Things I believe everyone should learn. In 2012, I deployed to Afghanistan where I was stationed at a combat outpost called COP Zerok up in the mountains. Life at a COP is often simple, strict, and demanding with every soldier responsible for guard duty and patrolling. We sadly lost three soldiers who were great guys as well as great dads, brothers, and husbands. We will never forget them and their sacrifice. In 2013, we came home and started our transition back into regular army life. In 2014, I moved back to Illinois and drilled at the Bartonville Armory until May 2016. 


James was the recipient of our 3rd Habitat for Heroes home, which was built in East Peoria, Illinois.