Donald John Porter
First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
Naperville, Illinois
March 09, 1945 to June 02, 1969
DONALD J PORTER is on the Wall at Panel W23, Line 46

Donald J Porter
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Donald J Porter


Donald J Porter



26 Oct 2005

Donnie . . . You were always my role model. I remember you still and keep you in my prayers. You were a better man than I and a true hero.


21 Mar 2006

Nones of March

I didn't come to
visit you this year,
though I have been
faithful since the spring
that I first learned.
No longer flesh
you have become
deep letters etched
on polished stone
as dark as old blood,
as cold as our Chicago
in January.
This stone and late winter
have become our
meeting place,
not the boisterous,
placelessness of
our sunlit youth.
No more lazy afternoons
and celebratory evenings.
Now we meet early,
before the dawn,
the way that soldiers do,
cupping their cigarettes
against the waiting eyes,
before the day fills
with all that fills the days.
Before birds begin
their morning song,
while frost still glistens,
I walk the ramp slowly
until I find your name
among the others.
Softly I press bare fingers
into those diamond hard letters,
hoping my touch will resurrect
your easy laughter;
knowing that it won't
no matter how gentle.
Though I cannot hear your voice
I mark your presence
as sun rises, or rain falls,
or wind blows off the river.
I tell you of the year
just past, knowing that
somehow you hear me.
'Happy birthday'
I say to the stone,
and whisper of the phase of life
on which you and I
are separately embarked.
But this year
there are new obligations.
Instead mysterious granite,
I will meet you
on a Midwest hillside,
just as early,
just as convinced that,
even without a memorial, you will be there in the mist.
Me on my way to work,
you held fast in
what lies beyond,
me waiting to hear again
your voice.
You speaking
without using words.

From a friend,
George Raach


A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 02 June 1969 a walk in the sun for men from the 1st Bn, 8th Cavalry, turned into a bitter fight which came to be known as the Battle of Banana Island. A description of the fight from someone who was there is on the memorial for Corporal Mark Dreier. The eight men who died on Banana Island were


The Daily Staff Journal for the 1st Air Cavalry Division, item 29, 2 June 1969, stated: From 1st Brigade; C/1-9 Cav. to G-2; G-3. YT529445 1015 hours. Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) at unknown speed and altitude received small arms fire, took hits, exploded in the air, crashed and burned. A platoon of A Company, 1st Bn 8th Cavalry is in the vicinity of the Aircraft but cannot get to it because of exploding ammunition and fuel. There are no signs of survivers. The aircraft had a 3 man crew. Results are 3 men missing in action. They were reported dead on 6 June, 1969 and the family was notified on the 7th of June.

Donald J Porter

From a public forum website: "The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.' Thucydides 471 B.C. I knew Don only briefly. He was a friend of a friend of mine -- Jim Donovan. Don, Jim Donovan, Jim's brother, Dave Donovan, me, my brother, Pat, and Marv Brummel, all high school friends, went swimming one summer evening at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, IL. It was probably around 1963 or 1964. That's when we first met Don. I found him to be a very put-together kind of guy, confident, mild, somewhat reserved, bright, composed, nice looking and the kind of guy you respected naturally.

I met him once or twice after that, but we attended different high schools. Later we all went our ways. I went to college and finished in 1965 and then headed for law school which I completed in June, 1968. I wasn't aware for some time that Don had been killed one year later, June 2, 1969. I was somewhat shaken that this memorable young man I had met some years earlier had gone on to the Viet Nam War to be one of its casualties. I have thought of him often thru the years and each time I've been to Washington, DC since the Wall was built, I've stopped by to touch Don's name and pay my respects to a fine young American with so much promise unfulfilled.

People complain about things such as the high price of gasoline, the fact their expectations aren't being met, or that our government isn't doing enough for them. They have no basis for complaint. Don and his wife and family had something to cry over, to mourn. Material possessions don't register on the Real Scale of Life. Don undoubtedly was concerned about what he would face in Nam. But he followed orders and did as his country bade of him. He met the measure of our greatest men and women and passed the ultimate test. In the end, what he accomplished and others with him is far more important than what I have done in my life or you in yours: he did his duty as it was asked of him by his countrymen and women.

His baby daughter was born six days after his death. She never got to know this good man, her own father. "

Dan Kuhn, Naperville, IL 04/01/2008

1LT Porter was survived by his wife, Sharon L Porter, and his parents, Mrs and Mr Robert D Porter, all of Naperville, Illinois. He is buried in St Peter & Paul Cemetery, Naperville, Illinois.

Donald J Porter

- - The Virtual Wall, April 27, 2014

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