Five wars, five generations, one Orem family


Meet Gary Campbell, a father, Vietnam War veteran and volunteer curator. Campbell was born and raised in Orem and signed up for the Marine Corps on his 17th birthday.

“Down to basic training and that first night and I was chewed up one side and out the other and I’m thinking to myself ‘What the heck have I done?’ But it was done so I ended up staying,” he said.

By age 18, Campbell had traveled all across the world. After a battle on July 24, 1966 in Vietnam, with the blood of his brother still on him, Campbell and others made a promise.

“The few of us on that hill made the promise that they’d never be forgotten,” Campbell said. “I took it very seriously. So I look for opportunities to tell their story.”

Campbell gave me a tour of the three room museum while sharing the history of Orem and his family.

“The young kids have no idea what this is, I say ‘No, it’s not a frisbee, it’s not a CD, it’s a record.’ You put it on here and you wind this little puppy up and it has some great sounds,” Campbell said.

With all laughs and dancing aside, Campbell has a military legacy that has spread across five generations.

“This is my family. Five wars, five generations, one Orem family,” he said.

Campbell is proud of his family and country. He is keeping his promise and loves giving tours especially to youth groups so they don’t forget the past.

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