Douglas Jason Warden was born on 14 Apr 1947 in Prague, OK. A 1964 graduate of Prague High School, and after one semester at Eastern Oklahoma A&M, 19-year old Warden received his draft notice.
Warden arrived in Vietnam as a Private First Class, serving as a rifleman, radio telephone operator, squad leader, platoon sergeant, and platoon leader. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant after just 7 months in country, becoming one of the most decorated soldiers in the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.
For actions on 27 May 1967, his second day in combat, PFC Warden was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device when he stood up between his comrade and an enemy machine gunner resulting in a deadly engagement. Three days later, 31 May, he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart when his platoon was trapped. As the RTO, he accompanied his platoon leader into the command post of the 22nd NVA regiment where they killed over 10 NVA soldiers. For actions on 3 July 1967, Warden was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for rescuing one of the injured crewmen from a burning helicopter that crashed into an ammunition dump, then returning to move ammunition away from the fire. On 15 December, east of Tam Quan, Warden led a successful assault against an enemy rocket position and rescued a mortally wounded soldier. He was awarded his second Silver Star. On 16 December, as the battle continued, he received his second Purple Heart and after Tet began he would receive his third Purple Heart for combat on 19 February 1968.
Warden re-enlisted in 1969 and served with the 1st Special Forces Group on Okinawa. While doing parachute training, a tower equipment failure resulted in a critical fall, thus forcing him into medical retirement. He earned his Special Forces tab and the Army Commendation Medal during this time.
Warden is a 1980 graduate of Webster College and completed a 15-year career with AT&T and 10 years with the Gartner Group. In 2011, he published his early life biography, “Boy Sergeant - A Young Soldier’s Story of Vietnam.” He continues to assist veterans and ROTC/JROTC students through the Oklahoma Special Forces Association. Warden resides in Shawnee, OK.