Donald Clinger, 71, died May 27 2016 at Duke University Hospital. A Staff Sergeant and a Vietnam War Veteran. His wife, Wanda, remembered him as the “big personality” who had many passions — not hobbies.
Donald served as chaplain of Military Order of the Purple Heart Beirut Memorial Chapter 642. He was also in charge of the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s First Responder Program in North Carolina. The program honors law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency services workers hurt or killed in the line of duty. The program provides plaques for those responders’ families. “The guy was relentless,” said Lenny Lazzara, the State Commander of the order’s Department of North Carolina. “He was non-stop. He traveled across the state to present those plaques. I’ll probably have to put three people in to fill his shoes.” Donald also presented plaques at the U.S. Postal Service, he presented at least 100 plaques to first responders over the years.