Charlevoix County Veteran of the Month: Donald William Peterson

Donald William Peterson
Donald William Peterson

The “Veteran of the Month” for September 2015 is Donald William Peterson. Born Sept. 16th, 1937 in Lansing, Mich., Peterson was raised in DeWitt, Mich. and graduated in the class of 1956 from DeWitt High School. Peterson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on Oct. 31st, 1956 entering into active duty in Detroit, Mich. beginning a 21 year, 11 month and 17 day military career.
On March 30th, 1957 in DeWitt Peterson married Ruth J. White.
On Jan.1st, 1958 Peterson was promoted to the Non-Commissioned Officer rank of Corporal and was assigned to Company “A”, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division serving as a Squad Leader with the specialty of Machine Gunner.
On April 25th, 1958, at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Peterson reenlisted and was reassigned to Guard Company, Service Battalion, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia where he attended a two week Non-Commissioned Officer Briefing Course.
On Dec. 16th, 1960 Peterson reenlisted and continued his schooling in Accounting and Intro To Business Courses. Peterson served two tours of duty in Vietnam totaling one year, seven months and eleven days.
On Jan. 4th, 1969 Peterson was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and on Nov. 1st, 1972 he reenlisted in Arlington, Va.
On March 1st, 1974 Peterson was promoted to Master Sergeant and on Sept. 30th, 1976, at Service Company, Support Battalion, Quantico, Va., Peterson received an Honorable Discharge and was transferred to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserves and was awarded the following decorations and awards:
Vietnam Service Award with Four Bronze Battle Stars; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation with Palm; Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Devise; Letter of Commendation from Department of the
Academics, USA, Trans School, Fort Eustis, Texas; Pistol Expert Badge; Rifle Marksmanship Badge and The Good Conduct Medal with Five Bronze Stars Award. Returning home Peterson went to work for General Motors in Lansing, Mich. serving as a Security Officer retiring in 1992 and later moving to Gaylord, Mich. where he enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, drove cancer patients to Petoskey, Mich. for radiation treatments, served on the Veterans Trust Fund Board and the County Veterans Affairs Committee.
On Jan. 29th, 2015 Donald William Peterson answered the final call and is being honored by his wife Ruth and son Douglas.
To honor a veteran, call the program chairman at (231) 588-6067 or on Tuesdays call (231) 582-7811 between 3:30-8:30 p.m.
The ceremony may be witnessed on the first Thursday of each month at The American Legion Post located on the corner of South Lake and Main streets in Boyne City, Mich. at 6:15 p.m.