The Wild Child

The Honorable David Apperson was born on 3 Sep 1959 at Oregon Health Science University. Due to the fact he was once known as an illegitimate child, he was deemed by the State of Oregon to be a juvenile delinquent and a ward-of-the-state the day he was born.

In November of 1961, the two-year-old boy was taken to GITMO Cuba without proper legal documentation by his stepfather, an active duty Seabee with the U.S. Navy.

A short time after arriving at GITMO, David had his pinky fingers broken because he accidentally shut a sliding door on a cat's tail, scratching his stepbrother.

On 22 Oct 1962, David was evacuated from GITMO with 1702 others due to the global tensions associated with the Cuban Missile Crises. The situation was handled superbly by John F Kennedy and the president's adviser, Dwight D Eisenhower, on effective political and military strategy.

Cuban Missile Crises in World History

--- Adlai Stevenson Addresses the United Nations on the Cuban Missile Crisis
--- Kennedy's Oval Office Address on the Cuban Missile Crises
--- Russian Ideology on the Cuban Missile Crisis
--- Wikipedia: Cuban Missile Crises

During the evacuation, the White House released to the press that all identities of evacuees were properly vetted. In contrast, evacuees headed toward Norfolk, Virginia in four ships, including, but not limited to, the USNS Upshur with roughly 4,000 US Army Rangers originally headed to Panama for Jungle Training.

However, the paperwork of a few of the evacuees had been falsified. This is because at least three children had records and documentation modified to show that they were military dependents, whereby David Apperson was the youngest of the three. Two males and one female. As of 9 July 2023, only the males are still alive.

According to US Navy documents released to the media, a small Baptist Church in the state of Texas gathered winter jackets for children to stay warm while spending time in Virginia.

After the crisis was over, David was sent back to GITMO with other evacuees and remained there until early Nov 1963.

Due to the stress of the Cuban Missile Crises, David began sucking his thumb at the age of three. As a child, David was constantly whipped and beaten for this action until, at the age of five, David was beaten so badly with a navy belt and buckle that he had black and blue welts over his entire back and legs.

From five to ten years of age, David endured some extremely traumatic events:

  • At five David was made to walk a mile or so alone in midnight darkness to get home
  • David had numerous beatings that left black, blue, and red bruises over his body
  • At eight years old David was locked and chained to a metal bed because he wanted to Tricker Treat on Halloween
  • At nine years of age, stepfather stabbed David with a fork in his left arm (the same arm David would later be bayoneted with while serving on the DMZ in Korea)
  • He had a bottle of Tabasco sauce poured down his throat while being held down
  • On his 10th birthday (1969), David received a severe head wound from his stepfather, treated at the Port Hueneme Naval Hospital in Port Hueneme, California. Stepfather spent 10 days in jail and subsequently court-martialed by the US Navy.
From the age of 10-15, David spent time in foster homes, juvenile halls, reform schools, and even a hard labor camp for kids run by Oregon. During this period, David spent three-plus months in solitary confinement.

At 12 years old and weighing less than 70 pounds, David put down an armed guard three times his size at the Ventura County Juvenile Facility in Ventura, California. David was subsequently kicked out of California and sent back to the state of his birth.

In just a few months back in Oregon, David drew a picture for the 'Keep America Beautiful' campaign. He won the top prize of $250 USD. However, after being featured in the local paper on 13 Apr 1973, the townspeople realized the hidden message within the drawing, and David was in trouble. He was confined for three months in the Prineville City Jail and sentenced to nine months at MacLaren School for Boys for being out of parental control.

He was later transferred to the Tillamook Boys Camp, whereby he escaped from the camp. During that cold winter night of freedom he had to decide to save two other escapees at his own peril. After his capture David was sent back to MacLaren and spent two weeks in solitary confinement and then back to his original cottage.

Six months after his escape from the Tillamook Camp, David was sent to the Double T Boys Ranch in Bend, Oregon. And shortly after arriving at the ranch, he became a paid firefighter at 14 years of age. He was also the map reader and radio operator for the last teenage fire crew in Oregon.

Child Warrior
Image of David in black hat and another teenage firefighter in summer of 1974.

It was during this summer that David Apperson put an (x) between the eyes of a US Marine.

When 15 the State of Oregon sent David back to the same abusive home situation, whereby an assault is still on record at the Crook County Sheriff Dept from 1975, even though the perpetrator is now deceased.

Not lasting long in Prineville Oregon (Crook County), David went back to the Double T Boy's Ranch, where as a 15 and 16 year old he worked as a night counselor for other foster kids and a cook at the Snow Bunny Restaurant in Bend to pay his expenses and finish high school, after which he entered military service when he turned 17 years of age.

US Army image . . . Fort Leonard Wood.

David was a firefighter, yet did time for another kid's arson. He was treated like a criminal, yet he excelled in law enforcement while stationed in South Korea. A machine gunner who searched for the answer to peace wherever he traveled and the path for him always seem to return to his knowledge of homing pigeons (i.e., carrier or messenger pigeons).

In 1981, on the recommendation of Wayne Hamilton, David was the first inmate invited as a guest speaker who had previously spent time in MacLaren School for Boys.

See article by David Apperson on The Oregon Foster Care System and Incarceration Rates.

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Military Duty

Testimonies for the Hon. David Apperson

Veterans Day Testimony
by John K Singlaub, founding member of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and a highly decorated commando in the former Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Maj General John K Singlaub

11 Nov 2013 / To PFC David Apperson, a comrade in arms, sincere thanks for your service on the Korean DMZ and actions as an MP in harm's way.

John K Singlaub
Major General, US Army Retired

Fourth of July Testimony
by Stephen Silvasy, Jr

Maj General Stephen Silvasy, Jr

4 Jul 2010 / During February and March of 1978, Soldiers of B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry (Buccaneers) were manning Guard Posts (GPs) Collier and Quelette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the North (nK) and South (ROK) Korean border in the vicinity of the jointly ROK/US manned Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom.

During daylight hours, Buccaneer Soldiers observed nK activities to ensure the safety of ROK/US soldiers working in the JSA. At night US Soldiers from Collier and Quelette conducted small unit (squad-sized) ambush patrols in the two-kilometer area between the MDL and the ROK southern boundary fence to interdict nK Ranger Commando teams who were trying to infiltrate the DMZ.

David Apperson was a member of B Company and participated in these operations in the bitter cold of the Korean winter, where below zero temperatures were not uncommon.

Stephen Silvasy, Jr (Major General, US Army Retired) Commander, 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry (Buccaneers) from 1976 to 1978

420 Holiday Testimony
by Richard A Kidd

SMA #9 Richard A Kidd

20 Apr 2009

To: Whom it May Concern.
cc: David Wayne Apperson

From: Richard A. Kidd

As noted above, my name is Richard A. Kidd, and the reason I was asked to provide input is that I was the First Sergeant of B Company, 1/32nd Infantry (Buccaneers), 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea from April 1977 to January 1978. I served over 33 years in the US Army and retired in 1995, having served the last 4 years as the 9th Sergeant Major of the Army. I am presently a Vice President with GEICO Insurance Company.

David Apperson asked me to provide information about the responsibilities of the Camp Howze Unit Police during that time period. During that time period Camp Howze an outlining camp, was occupied by the 1/32nd Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Brigade Headquarters, 2nd Infantry Division. The closest Military Police element was approximately 40 kilometers east of Camp Howze, to the best of my memory. Thus, the camp gate security and access control were taken care of by the Unit Police. Unit Police were assigned Special Duty for normally 90 days, but some performed for less or longer periods. Because the Military Police were stationed a significant distance away, first responder duties fell upon the Unit Police until the Military Police would arrive and take responsibility.

David Apperson also wanted me to address the types of incidents that a Unit Policeman could encounter during their duties as Gate Security, Access Control, and Local Village patrols, especially as a first responder. Their duties for gate security and access control are self-explanatory. They secured the gate by controlling access and preventing any breach of the gate or perimeter in close proximity to the gate.

The easiest way to explain what they did as a first responder is to say that they assumed the same responsibilities and were involved in the same type of incidents as a Military Policeman, with a couple of differences . . . they did not have the legal authority of a Military Policeman. They were only armed with a Military Police nightstick and handcuffs . . . and they wore a pistol belt. To the best of their ability, the idea was for them to contain the situation/incident until the Military Police arrived at the scene. At times that could be an extended period; they could find themselves in very serious physical altercations --- involving thrown beer bottles, chairs, and many other things and even more serious situations such as a knife-wielding drunk.

Unit Policemen certainly could find themselves in a precarious and potentially harmful situation. There were cases of Unit Policemen being injured in the line of duty.

I hope this will be of assistance in taking care of this Soldier.

Richard A. Kidd
SMA #9, USA, Retired

Additional Testimony by Richard Kidd

27 July 2010

Specialist David Apperson, USA, Veteran


I can confirm that during the period of May 1977 and Feb 1978, B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, Third Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division did participate in the following live ammunition combat missions.

Thunderbolt Mission . . . reaction force.

DMZ duty on Guard Posts Collier and Quellette: conducting guard duty, observing post duty, and conducting combat patrols.

Special Munitions Security Mission

All of these missions are actual live ammunition . . . security combat missions. These missions are held in all types of weather, from extreme heat to sub-zero weather. And that you were a member of the Company during these missions and were a participant.

Finally, I can certainly validate (even though the statement presented by a former Battalion Commander at the time in question and ultimately retiring as a Major General) needs no validation, the information provided in his statement.

I assumed the duties of First Sergeant B Co, 1/32nd Infantry in May 1977 and departed in Feb 1978. I ultimately retired as the Ninth Sergeant Major of the Army, having served with Chief of Staff, Army General Gordon R. Sullivan, and Secretaries of the Army, Michael P.W. Stone, and Togo West in July 1995.

Richard A. Kidd
Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA #9), USA, Retired

Law Enforcement Testimony
by Carlos Loya

Sgt Carlos Loya

As a law enforcement officer for over 25 years, I affirm and attest that the following information is true and accurate to the best of my recollection and belief.

I confirm in this message that PFC David W. Apperson served under my leadership as Squad Leader for Bravo Company, 1/32nd Infantry Regiment 3rd Brigade 2nd Division Camp Howze Korea 1977 - 1978 and that the following events took place:

1. PFC Apperson, while being assigned duty as a Unit Police Officer, was on duty at the camp gate when an argument started with three individuals, which resulted in a physical altercation with PFC Apperson; and

2. PFC Apperson was ordered to fire upon a squad-sized unit when we were on assignment on the DMZ; this event was due to miscommunication over passwords. The radios were jammed, and the password was misinterpreted from the unit that was conducting patrols. As the unit advanced toward the top of the hill, they were not recognized as authorized personnel without the proper password, and they were fired upon; and

3. While preparing for a parade, the order was to fix bayonets, and PFC Apperson was stabbed with a Bayonet just before our company was to perform at a military parade in Seoul, Korea. He was field-dressed, and PFC Apperson continued in the parade even though later, upon return to the main camp, when taken to the medical facility, it was determined that he needed stitches in his left arm: and

4. Our unit, while going hot at Camp Humphries, was called to the DMZ after a helicopter was shot down one mile north inside of North Korea. We were ordered to scramble since we were on the quick strike alert. We loaded up Chinooks, and orders were to set a perimeter on the down helicopter. Orders were scratched as we were hovering on the border of North Korea; the co-pilot was captured, so our mission was canceled; and

5. Another incident with a downed helicopter occurred while doing maneuvers. After one week in the field, the Huey helicopter that was bringing us hot meals crashed in a valley, and we were assigned to set a perimeter around that helicopter until relieved by investigators; and

6. As demonstrated by the examples above, duty with the 1/32nd Infantry regiment was at times very dangerous. Our duties included many situations where death or severe injury could occur at any time.

Respectfully submitted,

Carlos Loya,
US Army Staff Sergeant

An old Jewish proverb states he who saves a life saves the world.

Testimony of a Paratrooper
by Jose J Melendez Ruiz

Jose J Melendez Ruiz
David Apperson saved my life!

Jose J. Melendez Ruiz
C Company, 1st Batt 32nd Inf Reg, 2nd Inf Div

David Apperson Age 17

It is interesting that the first three testimonies were on special dates in U.S. history. American Patriots call this Divine Providence. We wonder what the odds of that happening are ??? If you have a solid mathematic formula to answer this riddle please send message to the Honorable David Apperson via his personal LinkedIn page.

In 2013 David Apperson, a DMZ veteran, who understands the Weight of the Badge, was honored for his military service and law enforcement duties as a Face of Freedom in Washington DC by conservative congressman Pete Sessions of the State of Texas.
Congressman Pete Sessions

Thank You and Testimony
Donald J Trump
45th President of the United States

Letter from Trump

DONALD J. TRUMP February 21, 2024

Mr. David Apperson

Dear David,

Thank you for your kind words and for sending the wonderful gift. Melania and I are both touched by your generosity and thoughtfulness.

I also send my personal thanks for your service to our country. The dedication to duty and professionalism with which you have served over the course of your long and accomplished career has significantly contributed to the outstanding legacy of our military service members. You should be proud that your unwavering leadership has ensured mission success and represented the very best of the United States Armed Forces.

Melania and I send our best wishes for success in all your future endeavors. May God continue to bless you and your family.


Signed Donald J. Trump

President Donald J. Trump


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Volunteer Service

25 Dec 2011 - David Apperson being recognized by John Lunkwicz, Past Commander of Post 10454 of Texas VFW for completing 10,000 hours of community service.

14 Feb 2013 - Apperson helped Military Order of the Purple Heart recipient John Lunkwicz finance the start of MOPH Chapter 15:13 at the Sweetheart Ball in Grapevine Texas. Membership in the post is now over 400 members.

22 Sep 2013 - David Apperson was happy to serve as Waterboy for 'Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients' during the MoH convention in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. At the end of the convention Apperson was humbled by Medal of Honor recipient Allen Lynch, author of Zero to Hero, who blessed him with his personal MoH medallion (challenge coin).

Allen James Lynch
Medal of Honor Recipient

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lynch (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company D. While serving in the forward element on an operation near the village of My An, his unit became heavily engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly and accurately assessing the situation, Sgt. Lynch provided his commander with information that subsequently proved essential to the unit's successful actions. Observing 3 wounded comrades Lying exposed to enemy fire, Sgt. Lynch dashed across 50 meters of open ground through a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid. Reconnoitering a nearby trench for a covered position to protect the wounded from intense hostile fire, he killed 2 enemy soldiers at point-blank range. With the trench cleared, he unhesitatingly returned to the fire-swept area 3 times to carry the wounded men to safety. When his company was forced to withdraw by the superior firepower of the enemy, Sgt. Lynch remained to aid his comrades at the risk of his life rather than abandon them. Alone, he defended his isolated position for 2 hours against the advancing enemy. Using only his rifle and a grenade, he stopped them just short of his trench, killing 5. Again, disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire, he crossed 70 meters of exposed terrain 5 times to carry his wounded comrades to a more secure area. Once he had assured their comfort and safety, Sgt. Lynch located the counterattacking friendly company to assist in directing the attack and evacuating the 3 casualties. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in the highest traditions of the military service, Sgt. Lynch has reflected great credit on himself, the 12th Cavalry, and the U.S. Army.

12 Jan 2015 - Sequentially, Apperson was honored by MoH recipient Robert Maxwell with a second medallion (challenge coin) at a meeting with the Oregon Band of Brothers, a group of veterans and true American patriots.

Robert D. Maxwell
Medal of Honor Recipient

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 September 1944, near Besancon, France. Technician 5th Grade Maxwell and 3 other soldiers, armed only with .45 caliber automatic pistols, defended the battalion observation post against an overwhelming onslaught by enemy infantrymen in approximately platoon strength, supported by 20mm. flak and machine-gun fire, who had infiltrated through the battalion's forward companies and were attacking the observation post with machine-gun, machine pistol, and grenade fire at ranges as close as 10 yards. Despite a hail of fire from automatic weapons and grenade launchers, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell aggressively fought off advancing enemy elements and, by his calmness, tenacity, and fortitude, inspired his fellows to continue the unequal struggle. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell unhesitatingly hurled himself squarely upon it, using his blanket and his unprotected body to absorb the full force of the explosion. This act of instantaneous heroism permanently maimed Technician 5th Grade Maxwell, but saved the lives of his comrades in arms and facilitated maintenance of vital military communications during the temporary withdrawal of the battalion's forward headquarters.

25 May 2015 - On Memorial Day in 2015 Apperson recieved his third MoH Challenge Coin by his good friend Wilburn Ross. It was through the encouragement of Mr. Ross, over a period of 15+ years that kept Apperson on the course of his mission. And yes, Apperson will forever cherish the moment when Mr. Ross gave him his third MoH medallion.

Wilburn K. Ross
Medal of Honor Recipient

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty near St. Jacques, France. At 11:30 a.m. on 30 October 1944, after his company had lost 55 out of 88 men in an attack on an entrenched. full-strength German company of elite mountain troops, Pvt. Ross placed his light machine-gun 10 yards in advance of the foremost supporting riflemen in order to absorb the initial impact of an enemy counterattack. With machine-gun and small-arms fire striking the earth near him, he fired with deadly effect on the assaulting force and repelled it. Despite the hail of automatic fire and the explosion of rifle grenades within a stone's throw of his position, he continued to man his machine-gun alone, holding off 6 more German attacks. When the eighth assault was launched, most of his supporting riflemen were out of ammunition. They took positions in echelon behind Pvt. Ross and crawled up, during the attack, to extract a few rounds of ammunition from his machine-gun ammunition belt. Pvt. Ross fought on virtually without assistance and, despite the fact that enemy grenadiers crawled to within 4 yards of his position in an effort to kill him with hand-grenades, he again directed accurate and deadly fire on the hostile force and hurled it back. After expending his last rounds, Pvt. Ross was advised to withdraw to the company command post, together with 8 surviving riflemen, but, as more ammunition was expected, he declined to do so. The Germans launched their last all-out attack, converging their fire on Pvt. Ross in a desperate attempt to destroy the machine-gun which stood between them and a decisive breakthrough. As his supporting riflemen fixed bayonets for a last-ditch stand, fresh ammunition arrived and was brought to Pvt. Ross just as the advance assault elements were about to swarm over his position. He opened murderous fire on the oncoming enemy; killed 40 and wounded 10 of the attacking force; broke the assault single-handedly, and forced the Germans to withdraw. Having killed or wounded at least 58 Germans in more than 5 hours of continuous combat and saved the remnants of his company from destruction, Pvt. Ross remained at his post that night and the following day for a total of 36 hours. His actions throughout this engagement were an inspiration to his comrades and maintained the high traditions of the military service.

On 29 Jul 2012 David Apperson was declared a 'Face of Freedom' by the Texas Rangers. This game ended with the Rangers beating the White Sox 2-0.

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Vets Helping Vets

Vets Helping Vets was founded on 20 January 2009 by the Honorable David Apperson. However, due to time constraints, content for Vets Helping Vets is now handled strictly through Facebook.

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