“I Was Ready To Whip Anybody’s Ass”: A Machine Gunner In The Rakkasans

Donnie Scheuerman


Donnie Scheuerman grew up in Oklahoma in a family with 11 children. He began working when he was 13, earning $15 per week, and he left high school in the 9th grade. As a boy, he was a good amateur boxer. He expected to go into the military, but he “just didn’t want to volunteer,” and he was drafted in 1967. He performed well in training, scoring highest in the Physical Combat Proficiency Test (PCPT) in both basic and advanced infantry training. He remembers his deployment to Vietnam on a C-141 being “scarier than hell,” and landing combat-loaded at Bien Hoa in December 1967. His battalion, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment was stationed in Phuoc Vinh north of Saigon. He served as an M-60 Machine Gunner in B Company along with David Rodrigues, and describes some of the engagements he was in. He recalls personally carrying 600 rounds of ammunition and firing short bursts low as suppressive fire whenever they were in contact. He went on R&R to Australia after he was wounded. After leaving the military, he was in a motorcycle gang for about 10 years, and now declares, “I am glad I survived that era.” Currently, he is a prison minister, believing that his life experience helps him relate to some of the people he encounters. He attends reunions, enjoys keeping in touch with old comrades, and is proud of his service.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Teamwork Leadership Camaraderie Injuries Faith and Religion
interviewer David Siry
date 22 June 2021


name Donnie Scheuerman
service Infantry
unit B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
specialty M-60 Machine Gunner
service dates 1967 1968