Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Marines!

Today is the 240th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. It is also the 100th birthday of Parris Island, the famed home of the USMC's boot camp.

I'll leave it to others to commemorate the martial heritage of the Marines. Instead, I'd like to share with you the story of a little known and deeply held secret of one member of the Corps.

Marine Major Donnie Dunagan had a secret that he hoped his Marine comrades would never find out
(Retired Major Donnie) Dunagan had an established career with the Marines. He was once the youngest drill instructor in the history of the service, he received three Purple Hearts, he was tapped to serve as a counterintelligence specialist in the heart of the Cold War, and much more.
Major Dunangan as a Captain.
So what could be the secret in this rough, tough, decorated Marine's background that he didn't want his fellow Marines to discover?
... Dunagan spent 25 years in the Corps before anyone discovered he was the voice of Disney’s Bambi as a child.
Major Dunagan as a child.
And during his 25 years of service, Major Dunagan was able to keep that fragment of his life close to his heart.

But it was in 1977 when he began to worry that his secret would no longer be his.

Disney was going to release “Bambi” in theaters for the second time since its initial release, but this time with credits.

“If Disney does this to me, I can just see gunnery sergeants and captains writing home and saying, ‘Dear Mom, guess who my [commanding officer] is?’”
"Major Bambi" doesn't exactly fill your troops with confidence or strike fear into the enemy's heart.

Major Bambi
Now the retired Marine Major enjoys looking back on his childhood and his time spent with Walt Disney and his crew. He is very proud of everything he has achieved.

Dunagan, now 81, remains committed to helping veterans in need.
Good for him! And good for all the other Leathernecks, Jarheads, and Devil Dogs out there!


Old NFO said...

Oh, THAT would have left a mark... LOL Bambi??? :-)

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Every year I call a friend and say, "Happy Birthday, Jarhead". He always replies, "Thanks, ditch boy, now go spit shine your shovel".