August 17, 2022: David Haskell Hackworth

Army Veteran David Haskell Hackworth is today’s Veteran of the Day.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran David Haskell Hackworth. Hackworth served as an operations officer during the Vietnam War.

David Haskell Hackworth was born in November 1930 in Santa Monica, California. He joined the U.S. Merchant Marines in 1945 and then falsified his age to enlist in the Army the following year. He initially served as part of a tank crew in Italy during the time between World War II and the Korean War. At the outbreak of the Korean War, he joined the 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. In 1951, while serving in Korea, he received a commission and became a lieutenant.

Hackworth was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division when he was sent to Vietnam in 1965. While in Vietnam, he founded and worked with Tiger Force, a small group that, in his words, served to “out-guerilla the guerillas.” He received his first Distinguished Service Cross in 1966 after rescuing a unit of American soldiers that had been pinned down by enemy fire for four hours. He single-handedly surveilled the enemy positions and then led an assault to free the trapped Americans. He received another Distinguished Service Cross in 1969 for disregarding his own personal well-being and leading an assault against enemy positions.

Hackworth is one of the most decorated Veterans of the U.S. military, having received over 90 medals, awards and other honors from the U.S. and foreign militaries. The medals and awards he received over the course of his military career include two Distinguished Service Crosses, 10 Silver Stars and eight Purple Hearts.

After leaving active duty in 1971 at the rank of colonel, Hackworth worked as a journalist and later a contributing editor for Newsweek in the 1990s. He advocated for the rights of the average American soldier but became controversial after he publicly criticized the United States’ involvement in Vietnam and Iraq.

Hackworth died from cancer on May 4, 2005, at the age of 74. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Writer: Jack Patterson

Editors: Theresa Lyon, Annabelle Colton

Researchers: Christian Williams, Kennady Hertz

Graphic Designers: Philip Levine

By DME Interns

Share this story

Published on Aug. 17, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 630

Link Disclaimer

This page includes links to other websites outside our control and jurisdiction. VA is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of non-VA Web sites. We encourage you to review the privacy policy or terms and conditions of those sites to fully understand what information is collected and how it is used.

Statement of Endorsement

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

One Comment

  1. Joe Boone August 17, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    I would think you would mention his books, ABOUT FACE, and STEAL MY SOLDIERS HEARTS.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Spiros “Steve” Pisanos, a Greek national who flew for the British Royal Air Force as an American pilot during World War II.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Stephen W. Pless, who served in the Vietnam War and is the only Marine aviator to be awarded a Medal of Honor during the war.

  • Alan Shepard served in the Navy aboard a destroyer and as a test pilot. He was a member of the NASA Mercury Seven and became the first American to travel into space.