Orem family donates military medals from 5 generations, 5 wars

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5 2013 3:03 p.m. MST

Jacob Campbell, upper left, who served in Iraq; Nephi Campbell, upper right, who fought in World War II; in the center is Alfred Chadwick, who fought in World War I; Gary Campbell, lower left, who served in Vietnam; and Dustin Campbell who fought in Afghanistan.

Family photos

OREM — The Campbell family of Orem fought in five wars over five generations. And five individuals still serve today.

As the nation prepares to honor and thank all who have served in the U.S. armed services on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, the Campbell family shared their perspective on America's wars over the last century.

It all started with Elaine Campbell's father, Alfred Chadwick, who fought in World War I. Her husband, Nephi Campbell, was one of five brothers who fought in World War II.

"They're patriots," said Gary Campbell, Elaine Campbell’s son. "They all served because they wanted to serve and give something back."

Gary Campbell fought in Vietnam with India Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment.

"I was proud of them," said 90-year-old Elaine Campbell. Two of her sons, including Gary Campbell, fought in Vietnam. "They all joined and done their share.”

Gary Campbell’s son, Dustin Campbell, fought in Afghanistan, and his brother and sister are serving, too.

Gary Campbell's grandson, Jacob Campbell, fought in Iraq.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Elaine Campbell said of her grandson serving in the military, “and I’m proud of him.”

A total of 18 Campbells over five generations fought in America's wars.

"There's always that thought in the back of your head, 'He could get killed. He may not come home,'" Gary Campbell said. "It's a tough thing to leave your family for that long."

In July 1966, many of Campbells' fellow Marines made that ultimate sacrifice as they tried to take Hill 362 in Vietnam in an assault that lasted several days.

"We lost eight in that streambed," Campbell said of the first day of that siege. "My platoon was on the point. Everybody in front of me, when they opened up, went down in the streambed, either killed or wounded."

Two days later, 26 more were killed and 80 wounded.

Among the generations of Campbells, they all came home alive.

Monday, the Campbells donated the military medals and keepsakes from each of those generations to the Orem Heritage Museum at Scera.

Visitors to the museum may notice that the Campbells did not serve in the Korean War, but Elaine Campbell actually had three brothers who were Chadwicks that did serve in Korea.

"We've always been a patriotic family," Gary Campbell said. "We feel this is the greatest country in all the world."

Email: jboal@deseretnews.com

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