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WWII Veteran Don Malarkey to Speak at Chapel

11/7/2003

Don Malarkey, a WWII veteran and featured soldier and consultant on HBO's hit miniseries Band of Brothers, will speak at Multnomah's Veteran's Day Chapel, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. Mr. Malarkey plans to speak about leadership in times of combat.

Mr. Malarkey is a frequent speaker at numerous venues, from West Point Academy to Focus on the Family. He said that Americans should honor veterans because it is worthwhile. "We should also take time to remember civilians as well," he said. "During times of war, they make the armament that we need to fight, and they are easily forgotten."

Eight hours before the D-Day invasion of Normandy by U.S. Forces, Mr. Malarkey and his company of paratroopers were already behind enemy lines fighting with the entrenched German soldiers. Paratroopers were often the first soldiers to go in to enemy territory. Mr. Malarkey's company was sometimes as far as 35 miles from the front lines-and reinforcements.

He was drafted at the age of 21 and volunteered to fight as a paratrooper. He served for three-and-a-half years before being discharged as a Tech Sergeant, the second-highest rank an enlisted soldier can achieve.

When the war ended, Mr. Malarkey, an Oregon native, returned to finish his education at the University of Oregon. After his graduation, he worked for a few years at a car dealership in Astoria, Ore. He then pursued a career in real estate until he retired in Salem, Ore.

Mr. Malarkey also traveled through Europe with Stephen Ambrose, author of the book "Band of Brothers." The book and miniseries focuses on the paratroopers of Easy Company from their time in boot camp until the end of the war.