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Marine Pfc. Donald W. Vincent

Died July 25, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

26, of Gainesville, Fla.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died July 25 at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting combat operations in Helmand province.

Marine ‘touched a lot of hearts,’ dad says

The Associated Press

Donald W. Vincent — better known by his middle name, Wayne — had to work a few odd jobs before everything really fell into place.

“Wayne found he needed to get his life in focus,” said his father, Lee, a retired Navy captain. “The Marines was a means to an end. ... He discovered abilities he didn’t know he had.”

Vincent, 26, of Gainesville, Fla., died July 25 after being wounded in combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Family and friends recalled that Vincent’s experiences in the Marines gave him a different perspective on life, and that his skills in math and other areas developed with his training. He had worked as an electrician and at a couple of restaurants before deciding to join the military.

“The Marines helped him discover his confidence,” said friend Ian Walters.

Vincent, who loved to hunt, fish and scallop, was the oldest Marine in his unit, earning him the nickname “the old man,” said his mother, Betty Sue.

“He touched a lot of hearts,” Lee Vincent said. “People really loved him and they’re broken-hearted with us.”

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