First Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient to speak at WFU

By Pam Barrett
February 5, 2004

The first Medal of Honor recipient during the Vietnam War, retired Col. Roger
H. C. Donlon, U.S. Army Special Forces, will present a lecture titled “Teamwork and the Vietnam War” at Wake Forest University Feb. 20 at 9:15 a.m. in the Information Systems Building, Room 162. A booksigning and informal discussion session will also be held from 3 p.m.- 5 p.m. at the College Book Store.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Donlon is one of only 132 living Medal of Honor recipients. He was one of 17 Green Berets who received Medals of Honor during the Vietnam War. Of the 239 presented during that war, 150 were posthumous.

After Vietnam, Donlon led a distinguished 30-year career in the U.S. Army, traveling back to Vietnam several times. He retired in 1988. He has written two books related to his experiences in Vietnam, “Outpost of Freedom” and “Beyond Nam Dong.”

In his latest book, “Beyond Nam Dong,” Donlon gives a personal account of his experiences, including how 20 years after the war, he and a team of his former adversaries worked together to walk the path of reconciliation.

Copies of “Beyond Nam Dong” will be available for purchase at the booksigning.

Currently, Donlon is the executive director of The Westmoreland Scholar Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding understanding between the United States and Vietnam through academic scholarships and exchange programs for students.

The event, sponsored by the Wake Forest department of military sciences (ROTC), is part of Wake Forest’s theme year, “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community,” which is dedicated to exploring how free people with passionate interests and beliefs can communicate openly without turning dialogue into discord.

For more information, call 336-758-5836.

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