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Interview with Donald R. King [Undated]

Morgan H. Randall:

This is the veteran interview with Donald R. King. Who lives at [address redacted]. My name is Morgan Randall and I will be interviewing

Donald R. King:

I was in the United States Marine Corps from 1971 to 1975 and that would be during the

Morgan H. Randall:

...What was your rank?

Donald R. King:

...When I got out in 1975,1 was an E5, which is a sergeant.

Morgan H. Randall:

Where did you serve?

Donald R. King:

I took my boot camp at...San Diego, California and after boot camp, I went to Camp

Morgan H. Randall:

Were you drafted or did you enlist?

Donald R. King:

...I enlisted.

Morgan H. Randall:

Where were you living at this time?

Donald R. King:

I was living in Gaston, Indiana. And that's where I enlisted and joined.

Morgan H. Randall:

Why did you join?

Donald R. King:

...It was the good thing to do at the time, I guess. ... I guess I wasn't a very good...citizen

Morgan H. Randall:

Why did you pick the service branch you joined?

Donald R. King:

I wanted the best. I wanted the toughest. ...If I was going to go to war, I...wanted to be

Donald R. King:

Yea. I probably recall them better than I do a lot of the others. Its kind of interesting flying

Morgan H. Randall:

What did it feel like?

Donald R. King:

Well...what the heck did I get myself into? (Laughter) It was...very challenging...the

Morgan H. Randall:

Tell me about your boot camp or training experience.

Donald R. King:

Boot camp was thirteen weeks. It was a whole lot of physical activity, which really

Morgan H. Randall:

So how'd you get through it?

Donald R. King:

By the grace of God and being pretty mentally tough, physically, like I said, wasn't any

Morgan H. Randall:

You already stated you served in Vietnam. ...Where exactly did you go?

Donald R. King:

...Well, I didn't go to Vietnam.

Morgan H. Randall:

During the Vietnam War.

Donald R. King:

During the Vietnam War. Yea. I - After I got out of boot camp they give us a ten day leave.

Morgan H. Randall:

Do you remember what arriving at Camp Pendleton was like?

Donald R. King:

Yea. It's...Yes I do. After we got out of boot camp and took our ten day leave...the

Morgan H. Randall:

What was your job assignment?

Donald R. King:

I started out after I went to infantry training, I went to Camp Lejeune...from there I was

Morgan H. Randall:

Did you see combat?

Donald R. King:

No, I did not.

Morgan H. Randall:

So, these units you served with, were there ever any casualties that you know of?

Donald R. King:

No combat casualties. I mean we our normal in fighting and stuff...people fighting

Morgan H. Randall:

Tell me a couple of your most memorable experiences.

Donald R. King:

Probably one of the most memorable was, and it's, excuse me, stuck with me today is

Morgan H. Randall:

That's fine. Yea.

Donald R. King:

Probably the other one is just Marines in general. Like I said, at the time that I went in it

Morgan H. Randall:

Were you awarded any metals or citations?

Donald R. King:

I have a good service conduct medal, I had an expert marksmanship medal, had a Vietnam

Morgan H. Randall:

Okay. How did you stay in touch with your family?

Donald R. King:

Most of it was by letters. We had like I said on down time on Sundays when I was in boot

Morgan H. Randall:

What was the food like?

Donald R. King:

Oh boy...Edible. At the time, I mean, it - the mess hall, I mean, it was edible food. And

Morgan H. Randall:

So, did you feel pressure or stress?

Donald R. King:

Yea. Certainly there's pressure and stress in an environment like that. I mean, initially when

Morgan H. Randall:

Was there something special you did for good luck?

Donald R. King:

Not that I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure I had some idiosyncrasies that you

Morgan H. Randall:

How did pebple entertain themselves?

Donald R. King:

Well, I know myself and my friends, we went to San Diego quite a bit, and Tijuana, Mexico

Morgan H. Randall:

Is that what you'd usually do during leave?

Donald R. King:

Yea, pretty much. I mean I'd come home and of course I did get married while I was in the

Morgan H. Randall:

Do you recall any particularly humorous or unusual events?

Donald R. King:

Well, I ...I don't know how humorous. I do recall some events. Maybe I shouldn't tell

Morgan H. Randall:

Were there some ...were there some pranks that you or other people pulled? And

Donald R. King:

I'm sure there's a lot of pranks. I'm not sure that I can tell you. I don't remember any

Morgan H. Randall:

Do you have photographs of your time in the marines?

Donald R. King:

Yea, I probably have some somewhere stuck back somewhere. I probably got some

Morgan H. Randall:

What did you think of officers and fellow soldiers?

Donald R. King:

I mean, when you put a bunch of people together, not all of them is going to get along. But

Morgan H. Randall:

Do you recall...the day your service ended?

Donald R. King:

Yea...It's September the 1st, 1975. It was really a day that I'd kind of been looking

Morgan H. Randall:

Where were you?

Donald R. King:

I was at Camp Pendleton, California. I was discharged from there.

Morgan H. Randall:

What did you do in the days and weeks afterward?

Donald R. King:

I moved back to Indiana, a little town northeast of Muncie called Gaston. Moved back

Morgan H. Randall:

Why would people discriminate against veterans? What was their reasoning for it?

Donald R. King:

I think it was a sign of the times in America, in the United States. The Vietnam War was

Morgan H. Randall:

Did you work or go back to school?

Donald R. King:

After not being able to find a job, I ended up going to work for my father-in-law who did

Morgan H. Randall:

Were your classes paid for by the GI Bill? Or?

Donald R. King:

Yes. Yes, My college was paid for by the GI Bill which is a wonderful benefit that they

Morgan H. Randall:

Did you make any close friendships while in the service?

Donald R. King:

Not any really that I kept in contact with over the years. I mean there's a few people you

Morgan H. Randall:

Did you join a veterans organization?

Donald R. King:

Yes, I belong to the American Legion and Marine Corps League and probably will be

Morgan H. Randall:

What did you go on to do as a career after the war?

Donald R. King:

Well I spent three and a half years -1 was a housekeeping aide at the VA in Marion. I went

Morgan H. Randall:

Did your military experience influence your thinking about war or about the military

Donald R. King:

Absolutely. It certainly influenced my thinking about the military. What a wonderful

Morgan H. Randall:

In a veterans organization what kind of activities did your post or association have?

Donald R. King:

A bunch. Marine Corps League does Toys for Tots every year. Of course, they hold the

Morgan H. Randall:

Do you attend reunions?

Donald R. King:

...No.

Morgan H. Randall:

How did your service and experience affect your life?

Donald R. King:

I think it put me on the right track. I grew up in a hurry. I realize and appreciate the finer

Morgan H. Randall:

Is there anything else you would like to add that we have not covered in this

Donald R. King:

No, not really. I think, I've certainly from my perspective and my thoughts portrayed how

Morgan H. Randall:

Alright, well thank you.

Donald R. King:

Thank you. Thank you very much

 
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  October 26, 2011
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