NAME: Don Young
MILITARY SERVICE: Navy, Vietnam War
RATING: Gunner's Mate
FAMILY: Married for 42 years to wife Janet; two sons, three granddaughters
HOMETOWN: Plainfield, formerly of Woodridge
Don Young joined the Navy in 1964 and volunteered to go to Vietnam in 1966. His crew opened a base in Quin Yon and was put on swift boats.
"When I first got there," Young said. "Being that it was a new base, we saw a lot of stuff happening. And the first year there, we pretty much stopped a lot of the infiltration because that was our job (as a swift boat crew). We stopped infiltration of arms, food and actually payroll. That was our job to stop that."
He spent almost 20 months there.
"In my platoon, we never lost anybody in our crew," Young said. "I left our base on December 10, 1967,and they hit our base on the 13th. And there were quite a few guys who got killed on the base there."
Young is a member of the Woodridge Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1578. He thinks public recognition of Veterans Day is improving.
"But I think some people are still complacent about it," he said. "People forget that this isn't like Memorial Day. This is for all veterans. I don't think there's enough public participation and acknowledgement in the ceremonies that go around."
He participates each year in the Veterans Day events at his grandchildren's schools.