Soldier Honored: Donald C. May, Jr.
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant Donald C. May, Jr., 31, of Richmond, Virginia, was assigned to the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif. On March 25, 2003, he was declared MIA when the tank he was aboard fell off a bridge while conducting convoy operations near the Euphrates River. The Department of Defense updated his status to KIA on March 28, 2003.
SSgt. May followed both of his parents into the military. He became a Naval Sea Cadet at age 12 and later a Police Explorer. After graduating from Meadowbrook High School in 1990, he enlisted in the Marines and became a member of the military police, guarding Iraqi prisoners during the 1991 Gulf War. He left the service for two years, then rejoined as a tank commander, like his father. SSgt. May was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, a Navy and Marine Corps Medal, a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Rifle Expert Badge and the Pistol Expert Badge, in addition to many others.
“He did not have to wear a uniform to be a hero,” his mother said. “He was always a hero. He was a clean-cut American boy. When he decided to go into the military, I was proud.”
One of SSgt. May’s sons is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient.