SOF Week

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Bambi Goes to Nam

Donnie Dunagan was born in August 1934 and was drafted in 1952 during the Korean War. Instead, he decided to join the Marine Corps where he would spend 21 years in and retire in 1977 at the rank of Major. While growing up in Tennessee, Dunagan’s family struggled to make ends meet. After Dunagan’s family relocated to Hollywood after winning $100 in a talent competition, he rose to the status of a child celebrity. His most recent role was as the voice of Bambi, the beloved baby fawn from the Disney film of the same name.

It was a stark contrast between his Hollywood past and his adolescent years. However, he adapted to the life of a Marine. During his 21-year career, he served three tours in Vietnam, earning a promotion to Major along with a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. which was a company record at the time. He was also the youngest drill instructor to don the campaign hat at twenty-seven years. He kept his movie carrier a secret from his fellow Marines throughout this time. He was never ashamed of his past, but like every good military person, you can never give people any ammo to make fun of you. Somethings never change.

He had a brief career as a child actor before being cast as the title character’s voice in Disney’s 1942 animated film Bambi, which has become a classic animated film about a young deer who learns about life in the forest.

Of course, it eventually made its way out. Several decades later, a Marine with whom Dunagan had previously worked on several occasions, including twice in combat, summoned him to his office about a month or so before the two of them were to retire.

Dunagan said, “When I walk into his office, he greets me with, ‘Dunagan! ‘I’d like you to audit the auditors,’ I say. “Dunagan recalls the incident. Being swamped with other work at the time, Dunagan respectfully inquired of him: “General, when do you think I’ll have time to do that?”

And, at long last, the secret he’d been living with for years came to out.

“He looked at me and drew his glasses down as if he were a university professor. There’s a large, red, top-secret folder with my name on it that he managed to get out of some hidden safe somewhere. “You will audit the auditors, Maj. Bambi,” he says as he patted the folder on the table and looked me in the eyes.

Dungan says, “But I enjoy it now when people realize that this old jerk is still alive and that he was Bambi. And I wouldn’t accept anything in exchange for it, not even a darn thing.”

2 Responses to “SCUBAPRO Sunday – Bambi Goes to Nam”

  1. defensor fortismo says:

    He should have at least been assigned an M79. Bambi needs his Thumper.