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Claude E. McDonald “I served honorably.”

Dates in Vietnam: 1970–1971 Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force Rank during active duty: Master Sergeant McDonald volunteered for the Air Force at age 18, before he could be drafted into the Army. His parents did not like his decision, but at the time, he felt good about going to serve as a security policeman. The only thing he knew was that men were being sent to Vietnam for the war. He had no idea where the country was. Reality set in when he landed, and he said, “What did I get myself into?”

Samuel Colman

“Somehow, because of the guys I was with, we made it. I was lucky.” Dates in Vietnam: 1968–1969 Branch of Service: U.S. Army Rank during active duty: E-4

Colman was drafted into the Army when he was 21. Just a kid from the suburbs, “I did not know what I was getting into,” he said. As part of an infantry unit, he experienced combat. Once, his base camp was hit by the North Vietnamese Army at Mole City. He attributes his survival to his comrades, whom he describes as “real fighters.” Amid the fighting, says Colman, somehow they found time to write. He wrote home and to his girlfriend and friends three to four times a week. Whenever a chopper came, it was either delivering food or mail. “We always wanted the mail,” he says.

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Salt • March 2015

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Profile for Salt

March Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

March Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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