James was born into the poverty of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where money hadn't come easy. His schooling could've been considered decent for where he lived, but he had already been set on what he was gonna do once he was out of school: the Marines. After enlisting, James went through boot camp and was subsequently sent to complete a tour in Iraq where majority of his time had been spent in Fallujah. After returning from his first tour where he had been promoted to Lance Corporal, James was assigned to the NATO forces responding to the infection taking place in Chenrnarus. Very unaware of what he was getting into, James hadn't expected what occurred when the large response force had arrived. The base the NATO forces had originally planned to land in had already been overran, and the weather had been far too severe to return. They were stranded.
The forces had eventually decided to land in the open fields of Tulga, where they hadn't lasted long. Zombies poured out of the forests and town and eventually had broken through most of the defenses when ammo began to run out and members of the NATO forces began to turn. James and the remainder of his squad managed to jump in a barely working car and travel along the coast, but it didn't take long for the rest of his squad to die off aswell.