Michael Ralph R. Odum – Captain, United States Army

Michael Ralph R. Odum was born on November 18, 1942 and joined the Armed Forces while in Tallahassee, Florida.

He served in the United States Army.  In 4 years of service, he attained the rank of Captain.

On September 11, 1969, at the age of 26, Michael Ralph R. Odum perished in the service of our country in South Vietnam, Phong Dinh.

Captain Michael Ralph R. Odum

Died September 11, 1969, Phong Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam

“It's an indication of his patriotism and love of country that Michael was on his fourth tour of duty when he was killed in Vietnam.”

Those words come from Lieutenant Colonel Robert Morris, a retired instructor in the FSU Army ROTC, who taught Michael Odum. “I remember him very well. He was one of those people who could always be relied upon to come in and do the tough jobs.”

Odum was 26 when he was killed in action by small arms fire. An artillery officer with the 101st Airborne Division, he was the only son of Christine Odum and the late Ralph Odum, an assistant state attorney general in Tallahassee.

The 1960 Leon High School yearbook shows Odum as an earnest and thoughtful senior who was in the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics club, was vice president of the Thespian club, and was president of the Forensics club, which took him all over the state to debating competitions. After he enrolled in the Army ROTC at FSU, the military became the driving interest of his life, and he characteristically took it very seriously. “He spent what free time he had around the military department learning all he could,” Morris said. He was a leader in the Pershing Rifles, and joined the Scabbard and Blade, a military honor society. Odum graduated in 1964, received artillery training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and went to Vietnam. After two tours of duty he could have come home for good, but he volunteered again and again.

“Michael was very selfless and giving and patriotic,” Morris said. “I'm proud to have had him as one of my students.”


Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment