Donald J. Hogan
“By his bold leadership, wise judgement, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Donald Hogan reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.” –Navy Cross Citation
Donald Hogan’s Early Years
Born in San Clemente California, Donald was fascinated by the military and all aspects of military life from a young age. This started with Donald avidly reading issues of Leatherneck Magazine, and soon expanded to a lifelong desire to join the Marine Corps and serve his country.
Donald’s grandfather, James Hogan Sr., was a veteran of three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was wounded by a sniper during the battle of Iwo Jima, yet remained faithful to his cause and county and continued to serve. After 22 years, he completed his military career as a Gunnery Sergeant.
Donald’s father Jim reflected on his own father, saying “My dad was a warrior.” It is no surprise that Donald followed in his grandfather’s footsteps.
The Making Of A Warrior
After graduating Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita California, where he ran cross country and track, Donald attended Saddleback College. He was making his parents happy, yet he himself did not seem happy with this path. Donald inevitably enlisted in the Marine Corps, fulfilling his lifelong dream of serving in the military.
After attending basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Donald went to the School of Infantry to train as an 0311 Rifleman, and was ultimately assigned to 1st Battalion 5th Marines Alpha Company, located on Camp San Mateo on Camp Pendleton.
Immediately upon arriving, Donald became well known and loved amongst his brothers. He was dedicated to his cause, and and showed an unwavering commitment to personal growth as a Marine. His mission was not only to faithfully serve his country, but also to serve the men to his left and right as best he could.
The Passing Of A Hero
On August 26, Lance Corporal Donald Hogan, 20, was killed by roadside bomb while his unit was on foot patrol in southwest Afghanistan’s Helmand province, near the Pakistani border.
Donald noticed a command detonated, pull-string IED being activated and hurled his body into the Marine next to him, throwing him out of harm’s way. He then yelled to his squad, warning them of the impending blast and giving them the split second needed to move to relative safety.
We Honor His Memory
In truth, no amount of words can convey just who Donald Hogan was beneath the camouflage that he loved wearing so much. He was an upstanding man, an ernest student, and even an occasional comedian that could bring a smile to anyone’s face.
The San Clemente Marine Corps Support Group was created to honor Donald’s memory. Our mission is to give back to the Marines and the Corps that he loved so much, and make sure the forward deployed troops have the supplies they need to accomplish the mission.