"Since he had to leave this world, I'm glad he left it the way he did, with courage and fighting for his country."
There was little else for William D. Saunders of High Street, Belleville, to say. He is the father of Pfc. Donald Saunders who was killed in action in Vietnam March 4, 1968.
The young Saunders, only 20, died of wounds on his head and body from an enemy mortar fire in Quang Tri last week.
Saunders enlisted in the Marines two years ago on Sept. 28. It was a day that William Saunders will never forget as it was the elder Saunders' birthday.
Donald completed his basic training at Parris Island, S.C., and advanced infantry training at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam.
When asked why, Mrs. Maisie Saunders, his mother, said, "Donald was never too talkative. He made his own decisions. I think he felt the boys were doing a good job and he should back them up."
"It was just a job that had to be done, for him," added Saunders, and he never complained. In all his letters there was never a word of complaint. He tried to reassure us, in fact."