Colonel Donald Y. Wakefield, 72, a decorated Vietnam veteran and career soldier, died at his home in Vienna, Virginia, on November. 22, 2004.
Among other positions during his 25-year military career, Wakefield was chief of the news division at the Pentagon, a military assistant to Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, a Congressional liaison officer and a military assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.
Earlier, he served as a company commander, and, in Vietnam, he headed the “Red Ball Express” program that coordinated specially ordered and transported replacement parts for aircraft, helicopters and other major equipment.
His assignments with the secretary and assistant secretary of defense took him to the People's Republic of China, Israel, Egypt, Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and to several NATO ministerial meetings.
He was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and two Meritorious Service Medals.
Before his military career, Wakefield worked as a staff reporter for the Houston Post. After leaving the Pentagon, he served as an executive for several defense contractors. He received his bachelor of science in journalism from the University of Houston in 1956.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Alice Wakefield; son David Wakefield and daughter Jennifer de Bernardo, both of Vienna; brother Douglas Wakefield of Hillsboro and sister Gayle Wakefield of Houston; and three grandchildren.
Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 30, 2004, at Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean with interment at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
COL US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/01/1932
DATE OF DEATH: 11/22/2004
BURIED AT: SECTION 66 SITE 1428
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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