White, Samuelson named Veterans Day Grand Marshals


Westborough – Two residents with outstanding military records were named this year’s Veterans Day Grand Marshals. Bruce K. White and Dana Francis Samuelson were awarded the honor Oct. 20.

White was born in Westborough, and is the son of Norman “Beansie” and Marjore White. He has three brothers, Steve, John and Gary, who are all still living in town. White and his wife, June, raised their children in Westborough and their children and grandchildren remain in town.

White enlisted in the Army in 1969, went to Vietnam Jan. 20, 1970, and he was stationed in the Mekong Delta region for two years. His military decorations include: National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal W/60 Device; Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal First Class; Army Commendation Medal; and 4 O/S Bars.

After his tour, White returned home to the family business and worked with his father at Westboro Auto Body, where he still works.

“Westborough is a great place to grow up,” he said. “I am proud to call myself a Westboroite.”

Dana Francis Samuelson served from June 27, 1969 to January 2, 1971. His decorations include: National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Bronze Star Medal; Air Medal; Combat Infantry Badge; and Army Commendation Medal W/V Device.

After graduating from Worcester schools, Samuelson moved to Westborough and was employed at Corrugated Paper and Bullard Abrasives until June 27, 1969, when he was inducted into the Army.

Samuelson completed Basic Training and Infantry AIT at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. In October 1969, he got orders and was sent to Vietnam. He served as a point-man, rifleman, and squad leader with the 2nd platoon, Bravo Company, 3/22 Infantry, 25th Infantry Division from December 1969 through December 1970, including an incursion into Cambodia in May 1970.

After being discharged and returning to the area, Dana found employment at the Norton Company. Later he chose to attend UMass-Amherst and graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science. This led to a park supervisor’s job at the Hopkinton State Park and a home for Samuelson and his wife, Sharon, in 1982.

In the course of commuting to work with Westborough Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Dick Foster, the topic of a memorial for Vietnam Vets was introduced. Together, they discussed this idea with Nam Vets, Westborough residents and officials. They formed a committee, held meetings, established criteria, drew up the design, picked the site on Ruggles Street, and put an article on a Town Meeting warrant for funds. It was passed at Town Meeting in 1984. After the town’s Department of Public Works prepared the site and handled the construction, the memorial was dedicated Nov. 11, 1985. This year will be its 25th anniversary.

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