LEBANON, Mo. — Every war veteran has a story to tell. On Nov. 11, Ozarks First heard from a man who survived a grenade attack that removed 30% of his brain.
Donald Mason was just 21 years old when his life flashed before his eyes in the 1969 Vietnam war. Mason says God had his back. He was in a coma for about two months after the attack – all while suffering from malaria and blood clots.
“I spent 15 months and 20 days altogether in the military and 10 and a half months of that was in the hospital,” Mason said. “I’d do the same thing all over again. I just love America. I don’t agree with the way everything goes but it’s a free country to choose and pick whatever you want to do.”
Mason was a machine gun specialist in the Vietnam war. He got hit in the forehead by shrapnel from a grenade, which is what put him in the hospital for almost a year. He says doctors told him he’s lucky to be alive. Today, he still suffers from brain trauma.
For his sacrifices, Mason earned a Purple Heart in 1992, a Bronze Star in ’97 and a Great American Heroes award in ’98. Missouri senator Roy Blunt even thanked him for his service when he was a state representative.
Mason is 72 now. Since serving in the army, he and his wife Donna helped foster 51 children. He also volunteered with the red cross. Mason says helping others is his passion.
“I just love people,” Mason said. “I love all of humanity. We took unadoptable, unattachable babies and children and every one of them learned how to adapt and got adopted.”
A documentary about Mason’s life recently came out. It’s called “Vietnam War Miracle” and you can watch it on Amazon Prime.
Mason tells people he’s famous but says he did what anyone would have done.