Maria James is the daughter of the late LTC Leon James. LTC James was severely injured in late September 2005 and passed away two weeks later at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He now rests in Arlington National Cemetery. Since his death, Maria has rededicated her studies and passion to protecting and defending Gold Star families and supporting all military service members.
Previously, she was a Freedom Alliance Scholarship Ambassador. Throughout the summer of 2011, Maria had the opportunity to travel and spend time with other Gold Star families and donors of the organization where she could discuss her experiences as an Army brat and how her father's sacrifice has impacted her.
Maria is a student of political science and organizational leadership at Purdue University. In her spare time, Maria volunteers with military non-profit organizations, political campaigns, and loves to travel.
Since its introduction to Congress in January 2013, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act has gained momentum among lawmakers. This important bill currently has 237 co-sponsors in the House and 38 in the Senate.