Episode 2708 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Vietnam and Navy Hospital Corpsman Donald Ballard and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Navy Hospital Corpsman Donald Ballard. It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.
Lange, in her story, reported that according to DoD documents, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Donald Everett Ballard was trained to keep the Marines he was tasked with protecting alive during the Vietnam War — even at the expense of his own life. Thanks to a lucky explosives malfunction, though, Ballard survived his mission. But his actions showed the lengths he was willing to go to perform his duties, and that earned him the Medal of Honor.
Lange also reported that Ballard was born on Dec. 5, 1945, and raised around Kansas City, Missouri. He went to North Kansas City High School, where he was a member of the band and part of a co-operative work education program, according to the Kansas City Star newspaper.
Ballard worked in a dental laboratory after high school and said he wanted to attend college for dentistry, but he couldn’t get financial assistance to make it happen through scholarships or grants; so, he looked toward the military for educational benefits. Before joining, though, he got married and had a son and a daughter.
Ballard enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 27, 1965. Since he was interested in medicine, he became a hospital corpsman. He spent a few months working at a naval hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, before being sent to join a Marine unit at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in October 1966.
In December 1967, Ballard was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division and sent to Vietnam.
Listen to episode 2708 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Navy Hospital Corpsman Donald Ballard and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.