Dan Doyle is unassuming and appears somewhat quiet when you first meet him. At least he did to me when I first crossed paths with him at the local Starbucks. He was sitting at a table with his grandchild sharing one of those special grandparent moments, when he stopped doing what he was doing to introduce himself. Fellow vet to fellow vet. And I’m so glad he did.
What Dan does today, outside of being a super grandfather and a writer, is help raise money through TheVeteransSite.com so veterans who are down on their luck can put food in their bodies and make a valuable contribution to society. And one can’t talk about the site without first talking about Dan.
Dan’s story is one of selfless contribution. He joined the Navy in January of 1966 and after graduating from the Hospital Corps School, he took orders at Newport Naval Hospital in Newport, RI. Eight months later he was transferred to Camp Lejuene, NC only to find himself heading to Vietnam in the next year to serve with Bravo Co., 3rd Recon Bn, 3rd Marine Division.
His desire to serve and contribute was tested immediately. As Dan tells it, “I arrived to my unit at Khe Sanh the day before the Tet Offensive began, so my first three months in country were at Khe Sanh, surrounded by 45,000 North Vietnamese Army troops. After being relieved from the siege, my unit was moved to the Marine base at Quang Tri, where we began to operate as Recon units again. So I was Navy, but I think you can see why I identify more with the Marines.”
Dan left active duty in October of 1969 and eventually went on to teach college students. He taught at SU for the last 20 years, beginning in the English Department and then in the Matteo Ricci College, an experimental college that focuses on the humanities and an interdisciplinary college-level education.
So why so much on Dan and not on TheVeteransSite.com? If you understand Dan, then you’ll understand TheVeteransSite. Like Dan, the site is about selfless service – is about serving those who need help and it empowers those that can help to do so. You can click a button on a daily basis to help feed a vet (and it doesn’t cost you a thing) and if you are in the buying mood, you’ll find some good deals that with each purchase you’ll contribute toward a meal.
The site is part of the Greater Good Network, which has given more than $26 million to non-profit charities around the world since 1999.
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.