Donald Joseph RionHospital Corpsman 3rd Class
M CO, 3RD BN, 3RD MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Navy
19 June 1942 - 10 December 1966
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The database page for Donald Joseph Rion
A Personal Remembrance to Don
Land of the Free
My Dearest Brother, Don
Finally found my favorite picture of you and am having it put on your page. You will always be the most handsome man I have ever known. Please know that I celebrate your life daily and thank the good Lord that there was someone as special as you in my life.
God Bless Us All
The Silver Star Medal was awarded posthumously on May 6, 2000.
Hospitalman 3rd Class Donald Joseph Rion, US Navy Hospital Corpsman, while serving as an assistant senior corpsman with Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, US Marine Corps, lost his life on 10 December 1966 while rendering aid to the many who were killed or wounded due to an error by US aircraft when their positions were bombed in Quang Tri Province in what later became known as "Friendly fire". For his actions on this day when he was severely wounded and refused to be evacuated, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal.
14 Jan 2002Don,
We met your wonderful family this summer at our reunion. You can be very proud, my friend. We presented them with your Silver Star, and a tape from Bob ... they heard your voice again. They are a full part of our family, and we a part of yours.
Semper Fi, my friend, Semper Fi
"...We regret to inform you...."
My mother has held such a telegram in her hand. Your sister has as well. Because of your sacrifice and the sacrifices of so many others I will most likely never have to hold a telegram like that. My heart aches for your loved ones, my heart aches for the losses my mother, your sister and countless other women have had to endure. The best way I can think to honor you and those who serve is to live an honest, creative, productive, genuine and loving life. I know your loss is still felt but it is not in vain. Thank you sir!
"Once there was a way to get back homeward,
From a friend of his sister, Judy Rion Murphy,
I am the closest relative out of all the people who wrote about Donald Rion. I am his youngest daughter, Dawn Marie Rion. Daddy was killed 19 days before my first birthday, so you can say I never really knew him. But yet I look like him and have some of his mannerisms. I have spent my whole life missing a man I was unable to get to know and yet not a day goes by that I don't think of him or talk to him. I know he loved me and that he was a wonderful man. It seems eveyone liked him. If anyone is on this site and reads this I would love for you to e-mail me at email@example.com and maybe you could tell me what you remember about him. That would be great.
Daddy, my message to you is that I miss you as always but I know you are somewhere watching over me. You have two grandchildren (I can't say kids cause Mom said you hated it when she did that). Ronnie is almost 11 and Summer is almost 8. You would have loved them. Summer got your blue eyes. They know all about you and are very proud of you. I love you always, till we meet again....
All my love
3 Jul 2004
Well, tomorrow is 4th of July. A time for us to celebrate our freedom. The very same freedom that you gave your life for. So I say "Thank you" for being the brave couragous person that you were.
Also June 19th was your birthday. I lit a candle and the kids and i celebrated for you.
Then of course there was Fathers' Day. We lit another candle and celebrated for you then too.
So many things come and go year after year. You should have been able to be here for all of them. But I can feel you here in spirit.
You will be very happy to know that because of this website, I have been reunited with your sister, my Aunt Judy. Daddy, I have waited all my life to hear stories of you growing up. Your likes and dislikes. Any information I can get about your short life is like a dream come true. I have waited so many years to learn more about the man who I have been grieving over all my life and now it's all coming true. I can't help but think you may have something to do with all this! Something guided me to this site. I didn't even know it existed till a couple of months ago. I found it totally by accident. So, Daddy, thanks for the help in guiding me toward Aunt Judy. And I thank you for that. There will forever be an empty hole inside my heart and soul from missing you so much, but things are a little better now that I know I have another connection to you (i.e. Judy). We e-mail every day back and forth. She's a very sweet funny lady.
As for me. Well I'm still fighting my disorders. If you can send me some help with those, I'd really appreciate it! LOL. Well, Daddy, we'll be celebrating for you again tomorrow. I'm sure we'll feel your presence as we enjoy the day.
I love and miss you so much, Daddy, and Grama and Grampa too. Don't stop watching over me. I need all the help in this crazy world that I can get!
All my love XXXXXXX00000000
P.S. Judy says your "fav" food was steak. Well, that is also my "fav" food. I know it may sound silly to someone who is reading this, but believe me just knowing this makes me happy inside. There are probably so much more things we have in common. I can't wait to find out more!
06 Jun 2007
Your little granddaughter Summer Marie celebrated her 11th Birthday on the 4th of June 2007. As much as I wish you could have been here to celebrate with us, I know you were watching over us from where you are. She has your blue eyes and beautiful blond hair. I know you are as proud of her as we are.
I miss you so much. Your Birthday is coming up in a few weeks. We all will be thinking of you and celebrating for you. Our hearts still grieve for you, and I know that will last our whole lives. That's how much you mean to our family.
My biggest wish is that I can feel your arms around me. I know that will never happen but I also know you will be with me always, watching over me and protecting me.
I hope I make you proud!
Dawn Marie Rion-Neeley
Well Doc, I never knew you, but Doc Paul spoke of you often.
He's with you now, and I kind of got the impression he couldn't wait to join you.
Semper Fi from the bottom of my heart and tell Paul I said hello.
Just another grunt Marine,
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 10 December 1966 the 2nd and 3rd Platoons, Mike 3/3 Marines, were on the move. As they approached the Song Cam Lo River the 3rd Platoon formed a semi-circular perimeter through which the second platoon and the company command group passed. A capable swimmer strung a rope from bank to bank and the 2nd Platoon began to ford the swift-flowing, chest deep river. As the Marines were crossing, two F-4 Phantoms passed over heading down-river.
A break was called with 2nd Platoon and most of the command group on the far side and 3rd Platoon and the remaining members of the command group on the near side. The two Phantoms returned from down-stream and one dropped two bombs into the center of the perimeter formed by the 3rd Platoon. Thirteen men were killed outright and fourteen others badly injured. Of the five Corpsmen on the near side only one was uninjured - and the rope had been severed by the blasts, preventing the Corpsmen on the far side from recrossing the river. Although medevac helicopters were called in without delay, several of the wounded died while aboard the helicopters.
The 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines' Command Chronology contains the following entry:
"At 1024H, M/3/3 at XD 950922 rec'd (2) 250-lb bombs which apparently missed target area and went long over ridge landing on M/3/3 resulting in 17 USMC KIA and 11 USMC WIA. At 1438H, Med Evac of M/3/3 casualties completed."The seventeen Marines and sailors who died in the incident were
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
Judy Rion Murphy
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 04 Jan 2001
Last updated 01/18/2008