ORANGE PARK, FL, USA U.S. Army CPL, COMPANY A, 2D BATTALION, 23D INFANTRY, FORT LEWIS, WA MUQDADIYAH, IRAQ 09/18/2007
Army Corporal Donald E. Valentine III last spoke to his wife on their anniversary, September 15, 2007. The couple had intended to start a family and he warned his mother that there would soon be Little Donalds to contend with. “He said he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be a dad,” said his wife, Lucia.
Valentine, 21, who was born in Houston and raised in Orange Park, Fla., was killed by a bomb blast September 18, 2007 in Muqdadiyah, Iraq. He was a 2004 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Lewis.
Valentine joined the Army in 2004, just months after he graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, where he played football and basketball, said his father, Donald Valentine Jr., a Navy veteran. “He joined because of Sept. 11. He wanted to do his best for the country,” the father said.
“We supported him 100 percent,” his father said. The younger Valentine planned a career in law enforcement when his Army duty was completed.
Valentine had been in Iraq for about a year and was scheduled to come home in November.
Another son, Daniel T. Valentine, 19, has since enlisted. His father, Donald Valentine, served on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf at the beginning of the war.
My husband and I were behind him 100 percent, said Anna Valentine of her fallen son. I was proud of him, no matter what he did. He made me proud.
Lucia Valentine described her husband as outgoing and having a great personality, beautiful eyes and all the qualities any girl would want.
Valentine was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.