HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Chief Warrant Officer Donald Harp served in the Vietnam War. He earned a number of medals during his time in the army. On Friday night, he will add another award as an inductee into the Madison County Military Heritage Commission’s Hall of Heroes.
Harp retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. That rank indicates a lot of experience; he didn’t have much when he joined in 1968.
“I’m a high school to flight school guy,” Harp said. “I went to basic training and then went straight to flight school from there.”
Harp served a year in Vietnam, moved around to many other parts of the world, then retired for the first time in 1989.
“I got called back to active duty in 1990,and I went to Fort Rucker,” Harp said. “I taught for 4 years and then I went to Korea for one last year and then we got out again.”
Even though it’s been decades since his service in Vietnam, it’s not easy for him to talk about it.
“I was in a pretty small unit,” Harp explained. “We flew scouts and we flew command and control. Basically, every day was somebody getting shot at. So, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. It’s day by day. You do what you have to do.”
Harp’s life no longer revolves around leading soldiers . These days he cares for a crew of grandchildren. They make the honor of an induction into the Hall of Heroes even sweeter.
“It’s neat,” Harp said. “I want to do that for my grandkids to come back and say, ‘Hey, this is my grandfather.'”