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First Name: Donald

Last Name: Wheeler

Birthplace: MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Laverne

Date of Birth: 15 July 1981

Date of Death: 13 October 2003

Rank: Specialist

Years Served:
Donald Laverne Wheeler, Jr.

•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Donald Laverne Wheeler, Jr.
Specialist Four, U.S. Army
Operation Iraqi Freedom


Donald Laverne Wheeler, Jr. was born, the fourth of twelve children to Don and Mary Kay Wheeler, on 15 July 1981 in Michigan. He was the namesake of an uncle who was killed in the Korean War at age 22. Donald, known by his family and friends as "DJ," graduated from Lumen Christi Catholic High School in 1999. DJ was a 6-feet 5-inch tall offensive lineman for the Lumen Titans football team.

After graduation from high school, DJ went to work in the family-owned Concord Manufacturing Company as a machine operator.

After the terror attacks on 11 September 2001, DJ told his parents the he "needed to be fighting this evil" and he enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 2001. After completion of Basic and Advanced Training, he was transferred to Fort Hood, TX, in April 2002. As a member of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, he was deployed to Iraq in March 2003.

On 13 October 2003, SP4 Wheeler was on patrol in Tikrit, Iraq, and was searching for a possible improvised explosive device when his unit came under attack from a rocket propelled grenade. He was killed in action when he sustained wounds from the RPG and died as a result of his injuries.

Badge, Medals and Awards

Combat Infantryman Badge
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Ribbon
Iraqi Campaign Medal
War on Terrorism Service Medal


Specialist Four Donald Laverne Wheeler, Jr., is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Concord, MI.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by three sisters, Andrea, Phyllis and Bernadette; and eight brothers, Burt, Trevor, Thomas, Quentin, Paul, Spencer, Dominic and Patrick.

Honoree ID: 867   Created by: MHOH




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