Episode 2743 – Medal of Honor tribute to Marine COL Donald Cook

Marine COL Donald Cook, Medal of Honor recipient, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

Marine COL Donald Cook, Medal of Honor recipient

USS Donald Cook, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook transits the Mediterranean Sea, July 6, 2018. Donald Cook was forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, on its seventh patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet

Episode 2743 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Marine COL Donald Cook 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: Marine COL Donald Cook. It was submitted by Katie Lange, the outstanding writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that Marine Corps Col. Donald Cook wasn’t in Vietnam long before he was captured, but the nearly three years he spent as a prisoner of war defined his legacy and earned him the Medal of Honor.

Lange added this about Donald Cook, he was born in Brooklyn, New York, in August 1934. He worked summers at a naval shipyard in college before graduating in 1956. Within a year, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Fluent in several languages, Cook worked in intelligence and interrogation for years before volunteering to go to Vietnam in December 1964.

Cook was in Vietnam for only 18 days when he was captured on Dec. 31, 1964. During the Battle of Binh Gia, he was shot and passed out from blood loss, so Viet Cong fighters took him prisoner. He and several other POWs were passed around to various primitive camps.

During nearly three years of captivity, Cook took responsibility for the men around him, despite the harsher treatment brought upon him. He shared his food and small amounts of medicine with other prisoners and took care of them when they were struggling, despite his own deteriorating health due to exposure, deprivation, malnutrition and disease. Even then, Cook refused to stray from the U.S. Military Code of Conduct, despite enemy efforts to break his spirit.

Listen to episode 2743 and discover more about Marine COL Donald Cook and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

mack payne

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