Beaufort’s John Payne, 76, joined the Navy ROTC program at the University of Missouri in 1962. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps. After Officer Basic Training at Quantico, he was assigned to combat duty in Quang Tri province in Vietnam, where during the Tet Offensive in 1968 he was badly wounded. After recovery and return from Vietnam, he was assigned to Camp Pendleton, where he separated from active duty in 1970. In 1971 he joined the Marine Reserves and subsequently served at nine locations from Portland to Buffalo, rising to Battalion Commander. He retired in 1997 as a Colonel. He has three children who all joined the Marines. Moving to Beaufort County in 2000, he served as Chairman of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) committee that helped “save” MCAS from closure.
– Compiled by John Chubb, American Legion Post 9. For nominations, contact email@example.com.