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    Leaving a gift of legacy


    Photo By Staff Sgt. Sean Hall | Medal of Honor recipient, retired Army Col. Roger H.C. Donlon meets and greets...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. L'Erin Wynn 

    7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

    EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. –– In front of the 7th Group Headquarters building bearing his name, retired U.S. Army Col. Roger H.C. Donlon donated his Medal of Honor to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during a ceremony, Dec. 5, 2018.

    Fifty-four years ago today, Donlon was dressed with the only MoH to be awarded to a Special Forces Soldier, as well as the first for the Vietnam War.

    The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor.

    At the height of the Vietnam War, Donlon’s citation reads that he was awarded for his acts of “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” during the Vietnam War, distinguishing himself by extraordinary acts of heroism “at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty,” on the morning of July 6, 1964, while serving as commanding officer of the U.S. Army Special Forces Detachment A-726 at Camp Nam Dong, Vietnam.

    Standing before an audience of over 500 Soldiers, family and friends to the 7th SFG(A) that Donlon helped build, his service and sacrifice was again solidified and celebrated today.

    “Sir,” began Commander of 7th SFG(A), Col. Patrick T. Colloton. “Your actions will always be a part of our legacy. What we’re doing today, is further shaping our culture for generations to come.”

    A bronze bust, fashioned by artist Douwe Blumberg, and modeled after Donlon’s younger self is the keeper of his Medal of Honor, the centerpiece of the event unveiled during the ceremony. That legacy is now permanently on display in the lobby of Donlon Hall.

    Even with the unveiling of the bust, Donlon remained humble. He expressed that his medal was not earned alone, giving thanks to those by whom he fought side-by-side, making the ultimate sacrifice. Two of which, Donlon recalled by name: Sgt. John L. Houston and Master Sgt. Gabriel R. Alamo, whose relatives were amongst those in attendance.

    “Together we are family,” said Donlon. “We live our lives in a way that will always bring honor, love, and respect to the memories of our loved ones. And that’s what we’re doing here today.”

    In closing, Donlon went on to recognize his wife of 50 years by referencing the wedding band she gave him inscribed with the quote, “what we are is God’s gift to us, and what we become is our gift to God.”

    After the ceremony, the Red Empire Dining Facility held a luncheon in his honor where service members had the opportunity to meet and speak with Donlon.

    “Sir, your inspirational acts of service will continue to encourage generations to come, which you have certainly done here at 7th Group, and through your lifelong volunteer work with the people of Nam Dong,” said Colloton.

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.



    Date Taken: 12.05.2018
    Date Posted: 12.05.2018 18:27
    Story ID: 302274

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