Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Don Montgomery played football and baseball at Albemarle High School and North Carolina State University. In 1966, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was sent to Vietnam. On Sept. 6, 1968, while on patrol, his platoon was ambushed near Phuoc Loc. Lt. Montgomery learned that two soldiers had been killed and their bodies were near the enemy position. Along with his platoon sergeant, Montgomery set out to retrieve the bodies. After reaching the bodies, the sergeant was killed. Lt. Montgomery recovered all three bodies and called in evacuation helicopters for the rest of his men. Montgomery left the helicopters when he learned that three of his men were not at the evacuation point. He found the missing men and when leading them back he was seriously wounded. Montgomery killed three of the enemy and drove off the rest before passing out from lack of blood. Due to his extraordinary heroism, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest honor. After the war, Don returned to Albemarle to a career in banking. He was very active with Stanly County Little League and American Legion baseball teams. Don passed away on Oct. 28, 1990, after a long bout with cancer. The city park on U.S. Highway 52 is named “Don Montgomery Park” in his honor. {Lewis Bramlett – Stanly County Historical Society}