July 21, 1966 — Full military honors will be given Army Specialist E4 Emmett Arthur Dougans, 22, at services to be held here at 3 p.m. today at St. John’s Baptist Church.
Specialist Dougans was the first Page County soldier to die in the Vietnam War. The family was notified by the Army that Arthur had been killed in Vietnam on July 9 and judging from a letter to his sister, Mrs. Esther Taylor, he had premonitions of his impending fate.
He had been wounded twice prior to July 9 and he outlines what should be done in case he should be fatally wounded.
In his letter he wrote, “I was as scared as hell. I have lost my nerve. I did not want to come to Vietnam, but since I see how communism works, I’d rather die than see my family or the United States under Communism.”
Dougans, who had been in Vietnam 11 months, was cited for heroism on April 30 by the Secretary of the Army. In addition to serving with the 2nd Infantry Division, Specialist Dougans also had been with the 173rd Airborne Division and the 16th Ranger Battalion in Vietnam.
~ From the public archives of the Page News and Courier
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