| Don Barnes graduated from Poteau High School in 1967. He joined the Marines in January of 1968. He served in Vietnam from July 1968 to August of ‘69 with the First Battalion 9th Marines. He was a Forward Observer. While in Vietnam he earned the Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
After Vietnam he was stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, with Air Naval Gunfire, where he was deployed on several training missions in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. He was discharged in January of 1972.
He retired from the Alltel Corporation in 2001. He is a member of Post 8245 in Huntington where he is also a member of the Riders Unit 11.
He worked and oversaw the construction of the Veterans Honor Park at Hartford that was dedicated in 2004. The 10 granite tablets contain over 2,200 names of Veterans. The Park is an ongoing project and will add an 11th tablet in the near future.
He married Sherry Shankle of Hartford, Arkansas, in 1972. They have three children, Nikki, Tiffany, and Brett, and nine grandchildren.
They attend the Hartford Assembly of God Church where Don has served as a deacon and Sunday School Superintendent for over 30 years.
Don is a Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, The Marine Corp League, American Legion, the MOC, the DAV, and life member of the VFW National Home for Children. He is a Gold Legacy Life Member of the VFW, where he was an All State/All American Post Commander, All State/All American District Commander, State Judge Advocate, State Junior Vice, State Senior Vice, and is currently serving as State Commander.