This is the story of Private First Class Douglas E. Dickey, a regular guy who did something extraordinary. He died on this day in 1967.
It was Easter Sunday when this twenty year old Marine from Darke County found himself faced with a terrible choice on the other side of the world.
The long and short of the story is that Dickey and his battalion found themselves in grave danger. He took one look at his buddies and made an impossible choice. He threw himself on a live grenade, absorbing the blast with his body and saving the others.
PFC Dickey was awarded a Purple Heart for this almost indescribable act of courage.
The exhibit about him includes a video of interviews with people who knew him, including his mother. In this grainy, black and white video, she says that the world is full of people who die for senseless reasons. Her son died bravely to save his friends and she asked how she could be bitter about that.
History comes to life when it’s presented well and when it focuses on individuals and their actions. I can think of no better way to talk about Vietnam and heroism than the Garst has done with this young man’s story.
Look for it in the first room of the museum.
Want more information? Visit the Garst online.