Did you know that your community was home to a genuine hero? His name was LCPL Richard Pete Donathan, USMC. Known to us as Dick, he was a dedicated and courageous Marine who was very much in love with my sister, Lois. They were to marry on his return from duty in Vietnam. Tragically, this was not to be.
Our lives were shattered on Aug. 10, 1966 when Dick was killed in battle during Operation Colorado near Tam Ky, Quang Tin province. He was 22 years old. The last hours of Dick's life are recorded in a book titled, "Small Unit Action in Vietnam, Summer 1966" beginning on page 99. I sent a copy of this book to Norma (Procarione, Price City Library) and it is available for all to read.
I have interviewed the Navy Corpsman who was with Dick when he died, as well as many other Marines who served with Dick. To a man, they respected and loved him. He gave his life trying to locate a sniper who had wounded many men, including the Navy Corpsman, TC Long.
He didn't need to do this. He volunteered. Dick had qualities we all admire-courage, honor, integrity, duty. We owe him, and he should not be forgotten.
If you would like to pay your respects to Dick on Memorial Day, or any other day, he is buried in the Price City Cemetery, site 1-E-061-06.