Don McClelland Justice

United States Marine Corps
18 November 1948 - 07 September 1970
Pikeville, Kentucky
Panel 07W Line 044



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Don McClelland Justice

14 Dec 2004

Don was a typical country boy from Kentucky. He talked with that wonderful Southern accent and had a great sense of humor and he had his act together as a Marine. Don was about a month from rotating when he was killed. I wish I had a picture of him to post. I think about him a lot and wonder what his family must have gone through.

01 Feb 2005

December 28, 2004

A Man never forgotten

It has taken me 34 years to get the courage to write this letter to the citizens of Pikeville and the surrounding area. My intent is not to open old wounds or stir painful memories but to say a few words about a man I served with in Vietnam. His name was Don Justice and he was from Pikeville. He left this world September 7, 1970. He had already been in Vietnam about 3 months when I joined his unit in January. I was immediately impressed with Don. He had a quiet dignity and inner strength that few possess. He never seemed to be too upset about anything; always smiling and laughing. And that wonderful southern accent is something that I will always remember.

He was a good Marine but more importantly he was a good and decent man and I am better off for having known him. He represents what is best about this country. I miss him terribly and think about him often and wonder how his life would have unfolded had he lived. He will forever be 21 years old in my mind's eye. But I don't even have a picture of Don. If someone is willing to send me one I would forever be appreciative. If the memory is too painful I of course understand. I just wanted to let all of you know what Don and all the other heroes mean to me.

Since then I have received dozens of pictures from Don's relatives.

From a brother Marine,
Sandy Wardlaw

Writing home to his mother...

"If it is the good lord!s will I!ll be home."

"I am geting scared, it would be bad if I got hurt this late but I!ll be alright if I keep saying my prayers every night."

"Mother I was sorry to hear about Robert, but the Lord will have his way & he will fix things right."

Pike County Marine,
Don Mac Justice,
Killed in Vietnam

Corpl. Don Mac Justice, 22, of Justiceville, was fatally wounded in action Saturday, Sept. 5, while serving with the U. S. Marines in Vietnam.

He was a son of Mrs. Stella Justice, of Justiceville, and the late Mac Justice who died September, 1965.

He was born in Pike County and was a graduate of Virgie High School. He would have been released from the military service in about two weeks, a member of his family said.

He was a brother of Mrs. John E. Coleman, of Pikeville.

The body is expected to arrive in Pike County within the next 10 days and will be removed to the Justice Funeral Home.

In memory of



SEPT. 5, 1970

WED. SEPT. 16, 1970
1:00 P. M.


Final Resting Place

Arrangements By
Pikeville, Ky.

A A note from The Virtual Wall:
The above material was provided to
Sandy Wardlaw by Don Justice's family,
and by Mr. Wardlaw to us for posting.
Any errors in text transcription are ours.

28 Jan 2005

Don was my brother.
He left home a teenager and grew to be a man.

Everyone who has contacted us seems to think that he was a responsible Marine and fellow soldier.

We miss him every day and the war in Iraq has made our emotions surface, since so many Marines are being killed.

Don was a Mama's boy and he loved his daughter, even though she was quite young when he left.

There is an empty place in our family.
We love you, Don, and miss you every day.

From his sister,
Fern Coleman Keene
529 Creekside Drive, Shelbyville, Ky 40065

8 Feb 2005

I am Donnie's sister, the sibling closest to him in age. I, along with the rest of my family, cherished our brother then and still cherish him and his memory.

He was a very handsome and personable young man, not easily forgotten by anyone that met him. We have received letters, e-mails, and visits from veterans who knew him during Vietnam, and we are forever grateful to those who contacted us, those who knew him as "a dedicated soldier and friend". We knew him as a beloved brother, son, and father.

We love him and miss him very much.

From his sister,
Judy Justice Benedetto

18 Feb 2005

I am Don's oldest sister. This is difficult to write, as I have so many things to say. First, we miss Don so much and his death has left a void in our hearts and home.

Don was the youngest of 7 children. Spoiled? Yes. I was 11 years old when he was born and I remember the beautiful baby, toddler, pre-teen, teenager and pre-adult, but we never got to see him as a mature adult. His life was cut too short.

Don did believe in what he was doing in Vietnam. He often told me this in his letters. He was proud to be a Marine and proud to be serving his Country. Don had the opportunity to be exempt from the draft, but chose to serve his Country.

Don had a lot of dreams when he came home, he talked of going back to school, buying a better car, and most of all being a good father to his two year old daughter. I know he would have done all of this. His daughter has a Rank I in Education and teaches Kindergarten. She is a lovely young lady with a young son who looks some like his grandfather. Grandfather, gosh, I still picture him as 21.

Thank you all for the kind words and letters and most of all thank you for serving your Country.

From his sister,
Yvonne J. Schmidt

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Fern Coleman Keene
529 Creekside Drive, Shelbyville, Ky 40065 
14 Dec 2004

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index J
KY State Index . Panel 07W

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/13/2010