Amherst Veteran Glad He Served in Desegregated Armed Forces

Jan. 14, 2019
James R. Heck, an 87-year-old U.S. Army veteran, at his home, in Amherst, N.Y., on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Heck served from 1955 to 1957, and then entered the Army Reserves. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)
James R. Heck, an 87-year-old U.S. Army veteran, at his home, in Amherst, N.Y., on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Heck served from 1955 to 1957, and then entered the Army Reserves.

James R. Heck III of Amherst served two years as an Army officer, but never saw any combat.

The 87-year-old retired Buffalo Public School administrator served in the military during a peaceful period, between the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

For Heck, it was a good time to be in the Army.

Aside from the country being at peace, when Heck arrived at Fort Benning, Ga., it had been a little less than a decade since President Harry S. Truman had desegregated the armed forces. African-American soldiers could serve right alongside their white counterparts.
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