U.S. MARINE CORPS
SSGT, 1ST TANK BN, 1ST MARDIV, MCAGCC, TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA
03/25/2003, EUPHRATES RIVER, IRAQ
31 March 2003
Donald Charles May Jr. always wanted to be a Marine.
“He was a clean-cut American boy,” said his mother, Brenda Reese May. “When he decided to go into the military, I was proud. Always scared, but proud.”
His mother, Brenda R. May, of Chesterfield County, was a Marine. His father, Donald C. May Sr., was awarded a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and the Navy Cross for his service as a Marine in Vietnam. Donald C. May Sr. was killed in a boating accident while fishing in Washington state in 1991.
SSGT May became a Naval Sea Cadet at age 12 and, later, a police Explorer. After high school, he joined the military police and guarded Iraqi prisoners during the 1991 Gulf War.
Following in his parents’ footsteps, SSGT May enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990, right after graduating from Chesterfield’s Meadowbrook High School. Brenda May said she was told Friday night that her son disappeared last week during a sandstorm that swept over Iraq as U.S. forces advanced toward Baghdad. SSGT May was based at Twentynine Palms, CA, where he lived with his wife, Deborah, and their two children, Mariah, and Jack. Deborah may was carrying their third child.
April 1, 2003
Brenda May knew in her heart that her 31-year-old son had died serving his country. The 12:30 a.m. knock on the door from military officials just confirmed her fears.“He did not have to wear a uniform to be a hero,” his mother said. “He was always a hero.”