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Odell Vaughn

Odell Vaughn

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Odell Vaughn

  • From: Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Born: Unknown
  • Native of: Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Unit: 178th Field Artillery Battalion

Vaughn enlisted in the National Guard at 17 years old. He was sent overseas to England just a few months after getting married. He served in England, North Africa and Italy. While serving in Italy, Vaughn was attempting to help a wounded soldier trapped in a mine field. Moving closer, Vaughn stepped on a land mine and was critically wounded. As a result of his injury, Vaughn would eventually lose both of his legs. He has been awarded the silver start, the Purple Heart and the French Croix de Guerre for his unselfish actions during battle. In 1972, Richard Nixon appointed Vaughn to be the Chief Benefits Director for the National Veterans Administration. Later, Gerald Ford, recognizing his outstanding service in fighting for legislation and programs to aid veterans named him deputy administrator for the entire VA system.

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