Born in New York in June 1956, Jerome Wescott Mapp grew up in Brooklyn and on Virginia’s eastern shore. His military career with a deployment with Assault Craft Unit One remediating Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, from World War II nuclear testing. After writing for the newspaper at McMurdo Naval Station in Antarctica and hosting the Armed Forces Antarctic Network, Mapp served as a command journalist on the USS Henry B. Wilson in 1981 and 1982.
Following the 1983 Beirut, Lebanon, bombing of a Marine Corps barracks, Mapp’s squad protected the headquarters of a joint military operation in Key West, Fla. He deployed as a journalist with a joint Navy-Marine Corps task force aboard the USS Inchon to civil-war-ridden Beirut in 1987, where he recorded Navy, Marines and Special Forces efforts to rescue hostages. In 1990, he served as a Marine Corps journalist during the Persian Gulf War.
The Sept. 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks occurred while Mapp worked in the Pentagon as a writer and editor for the Navy News Service under the Chief of Navy Information Office. Mapp used his experience with traumatic situations to continue helping others get to safety over several hours after first helping a coworker escape the damaged building.
Mapp worked at Defense Information Systems Agency as a public affairs specialist from 2006 to 2010 before engaging in service projects as a public affairs officer at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in 2013 for Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa. He has written for various military and Veterans’ publications, and is currently an American Legion member and the Deputy Public Affairs Chief at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C.
Mapp’s words to Virginia’s WAVY-TV in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 encourage all veteran and other trauma survivors: “I feel like I need to carry on. Obviously, in any tragedy, there’s gonna be survivors. And you just gotta forge ahead, you gotta keep going. You remember the tragedy. You pray for those who died, you pray for their families. But then again, ultimately you have to move forward. You can’t stay in one place.”
During his service, Mapp has earned awards including a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Navy Achievement Medal with gold star award, a Humanitarian Service Medal and a Public Affairs Excellence Award.
We honor his service.