GAINESVILLE, FL, USA U.S. Marines PFC, F CO, 2D BN 8TH MAR, (RCT-3, 2D MEB FWD) 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC CAMP DWYER, AFGHANISTAN 07/25/2009
Marine Private First Class (PFC) Donald Wayne Vincent, who went by the name Wayne, was the youngest of Lee and Betty Sue Vincent’s four children. Wayne was born on April 17, 1983 in Slidell, Louisiana into a Navy family with southern roots – from his uncle and namesake Donald Wayne Vincent of Meridian, Mississippi, to his upbringing in Gainesville, Florida, with his siblings Rodney, Jeffrey, and Julia from 1988 onward. He attended Talbot Elementary School, Ft. Clarke Middle School, and graduated from Gainesville High School in 2001. Following graduation, he trained and worked as an electrician while also working in food service. Wayne was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida, who loved to hunt, fish, and scallop.
In January 2008, Wayne joined the Marine Corps, with his father swearing him in. There, he gained skills, perspective, and confidence. He graduated from boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina and was thereafter stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Wayne deployed to Afghanistan May 19, 2009, and was an assaultman assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. As an assaultman, he handled weapons such as the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon and the Dragon medium assault anti-tank weapon; he also provides anti-bunker and anti-armor fire.
On May 19, 2009, Wayne was deployed to Afghanistan. He died at the age of 26, on July 25, 2009, at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting combat operations in Helmand province during Operation Enduring Freedom. His body was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware July 28, 2009 and was transferred to the Jacksonville Naval Air Station before arriving in Gainesville. Funeral Services were held August 4, 2009, with burial following at Memorial Park Central. His two best friends–Ian Walters and Tim Vazquez–served as Honorary Pall Bearers, along with Jason Mihlfeld, Mike Pittman, Bob Schwab, and Mike Harris.
Wayne was a loving family member, loyal friend, and brave Marine, who embraced life and made others laugh. He is sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved him.