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Orem family donates medals to museum from 5 generations in 5 wars

By Jed Boal | Posted - Nov 4th, 2013 @ 11:00pm


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OREM — A family in Orem celebrated patriotism and military service Monday with an uncommon gift to the Orem Heritage Museum of Scera.

Five generations of the Campbell family served in five different wars and five individuals are still on active duty. The Campbells donated the military medals and keepsakes from each of their generations to the museum Monday.

Gary Campbell, and his 90-year-old mother Elaine Campbell, have quite a perspective on America's wars over the last century.

"I was proud of them," Elaine said. Two of her sons, including Gary, fought in Vietnam. "They all joined, and done their share."

It all started with Elaine Campbell's father, Alfred Chadwick, who fought in World War I. Her husband, Nephi Campbell, was one of five brothers who fought in World War II.

"They're patriots," Gary said as he looked at the display of military medals and pictures in the museum. "They all served because they wanted to serve, and give something back."

Gary fought in Vietnam with India Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment. His son, Dustin Campbell fought in Afghanistan, and his a brother and sister are currently serving in the military too. Gary's grandson, Jacob Campbell fought in Iraq.

A total of 18 Campbells, over five generations, fought in America's wars.

"There's always that thought in the back of your head, 'He could get killed. He may not come home,' " Gary said. "It's a tough thing to leave your family for that long."

In July 1966, many of Campbell's fellow Marines made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives as they tried to take Hill 362 in Vietnam in an assault that lasted several days.

"We lost eight in that stream bed," Campbell said of the first day of the siege. "My platoon was on the point. Everybody in front of me, when they opened up, went down in the stream bed, either killed or wounded."

Two days later, 26 more were killed and 80 wounded. However, among the generations of Campbells, they all came home alive.

"We've always been a patriotic family," Gary said. "We feel this is the greatest country in all the world."

Visitors attending the museum may notice that the Campbell's did not serve in the Korean War, but Elaine actually had three brothers who were Chadwicks that did serve in Korea.

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