Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Veteran Hughlen “Derl” Horn. Derl served from February 1966 to February 1968.

Derl grew up in Springdale, AR and was married for two years before getting drafted. He had taken two physicals and was never called. Originally, he was drafted for the Army. However, the Marines needed six men and Derl was chosen. Derl went on to complete basic training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. He was stationed for five and a half months at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba before going to Vietnam. Derl was a member of the Bravo 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment 3rd Marine Division.

During his time in Vietnam, Derl was one of a group of Marines called “Walking Dead”. During the Battle of Buffalo only 26 out of 150 Marines survived. Derl was one of them. For his service, Derl received the following awards: a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal W/60 Bar, and Gallantry Cross Medal and Unit Citation.

Derl was honorably discharged from the Marines and returned stateside in February 1968. He worked for 39 years as an industrial engineer in Fayetteville, AR before retiring. Today, Derl volunteers in the pharmacy at Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, AR.

Derl is married to Marilyn and they have three children: a son and twin daughters who were born while he was serving in Vietnam. They have five grandchildren.

Thank you for your service, Derl


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? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Graphic by Bryttni Carpenter. Bryttni is a junior at DePauw University studying communications.

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Published on Nov. 24, 2018

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