In September of this year, the 19 year old son of Admiral James Winnefeld (ret) died from an overdose of heroin mixed with Fentanyl. He had just come through 15 months of in-patient rehab and was embarking upon a new career as an EMT. Rather than giving in to the tragedy, Admiral and Mrs. Winnefeld have started an organization – Safe Project (safeproject.us) – to help fight the war on the opioid epidemic in this country. Here is their story.
James Alexander “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr. is a retired United States Navy admiral who served as the ninth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from August 4, 2011 to July 31, 2015. He previously served as the fourth Commander, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the 21st Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) from May 19, 2010 to August 3, 2011. Prior to that, Winnefeld served as Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, The Joint Staff which he concurrently served as the Senior Member, U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Military Staff Committee. His other operational commands include serving as the Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and Commander, Allied Joint Command Lisbon. As the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Winnefeld was the second highest-ranking officer in the United States Armed Forces, second only to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 2015, he retired from the Navy after over 37 years of service.