Don (far right) with trumpet @ Memorial for 9-11

Today I am honored to introduce a dear friend and veteran Don Oberquell. He served in the US Army in South Korea 13 mi south of the DMZ. His MOS was infantry, trumpeter. Oberquell completed his service as Spec 5/ E5 with one year in grade. Today Oberquell is still serving God, our country and others through Missing In America Project, Bugles Across America and The Christian Motorcyclist Association.

What were your duties?
I was a rifleman, trumpet player. Our responsibilities included 0600 bugler duties playing TO THE COLORS & REVEILLE & 1800 hrs TAPS at Headquarters Command Flag Pole. I served with the 7th Infantry Division Headquarters Band as Squad Leader, Solo 1st chair Trumpet, and band bus driver.
I arrived in Korea 1 week before the USS Pueblo was hijacked. I was ordered to machine-gunner training, which I did. However, I felt bad that 2 other men would be assigned with me, 1 as pod bearer, and 1 as ammo bearer. They would be dependent on me with their lives, and the machine gun was the hardest gun I ever shot for accuracy. It was a 30 caliber machine gun. Thank God I never had to use it in battle.

What did you like most about serving?
The greatest thing about service in the military is the comradely that is developed, the trust one has to have
with others, and the confidence one gets by having to do things with others.

What prompted you to serve?
I had no choice. I was drafted Dec 11,1966. This was 2 years before the draft lottery. One I was in college with a 2S
deferment, a 4f religious deferment, or drafted. I was the latter.

What was some of the greatest challenges you faced?
I was never athletic, so completing basic training was a challenge. At my final qualifying obstacle coarse, I had to ace the mile run in less than 6 min, or I would be recycled for another 2 weeks. I got behind the fastest runner in our platoon, and I made it!! I was out of there!!

What was the most rewarding experience?
The great friends I made.

What was the training and prep for your MOS?
I auditioned in basic training to be a trumpet player. I qualified and they assigned me to the Navy School of Music in Norfolk, VA. on completion of basic.

How did serving affect your family? Did they find their part of service rewarding?
My family supported me tremendously, as I was the first of 4 boys to be drafted/ serve in my family. My dad wrote me every week.

As a Veteran what opportunities or advantages or disadvantages did you have after reentering civilian life?
The GI Bill helped me with my college ed. and my flight training after I completed my private license. I still have the VA , who are awesome to me.

What is your advice to someone thinking about serving their country?
They will never regret it! Do it!! With pride and integrity!!

As a Vet, I am still finding ways to serve. I still bugle with Color Guards at funerals. I still serve my country and veteran community. MIAP, Missing In America project, is one of those very touching opportunities that do not come along very often, but are so very important for veterans who have not been given the respect they deserve of an Honorable Interment of their remains. MIAP is working to identify these Vets and give them the Honor they deserve for their service to this great country. I am so blessed to be a part of MIAP.



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