Lifetime VFW member makes lasting gift.

      Top: Donald Segraves in Ramstein for his annual
two weeks active duty aboard a KC-10 Extender
Refueler, 2002. Bottom: Segraves many years ago
in Saigon.

When Donald Segraves went salmon fishing as a child with his grandfather in Southern Oregon, he remembers everyone called his grandpa "Major." His grandfather, Joseph Segraves, served as a Captain in U.S. Army Intelligence during WWI and also served in the Spanish-American War.

“I think he might have been a Captain,” explained Segraves, “but 'Major' was his nickname.”

This is the story Segraves brings up when asked why he’s chosen to include the VFW in his estate plans with a legacy gift. The military has been a part of his life ever since he can remember.

His father, Lloyd Segraves, was Corporal in the U.S. Army Air Corps, joining before WWII. Corporal Segraves was a mechanic on the P-40 fighters and later on the B-29 bombers. His father and grandfather are both interred at the U.S. Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, Calif.

At 19 years old, Segraves joined the Air Force. After basic training, he was assigned to the 351st Security Police Sq. at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and received his Security Police training there. Soon after his training, Segraves served five months at Kunsan Air Base in Korea. In early 1969, he received Advance Combat preparedness training before serving one year with the 377th SPS at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam.

Back home, he went to serve with the 60th SPS at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. to complete his active-duty requirements.

Almost 11 years later, Segraves joined the Air Force Reserves, choosing the air cargo field, with the 55th Aerial Port Sq. at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. For many years, he handled various types of cargo. His 29-year military career consisted of four years of active duty and 25 years in the Reserves. He also spent 14 years working for the U.S. Department of Defense.

A few years ago, he was discussing his estate plans with a friend and began thinking of what he would do with his assets.

“I don't want the State of California to take it all,” he joked. “My friend suggested I give it to a veterans’ organization, and that's what I decided to do.”

Segraves is a lifetime member of the VFW, and designating his gift to help fellow veterans is especially meaningful to him.

“There are a lot of organizations I could have chosen, but I’m not part of any of those. I haven't experienced those things,” he said. “It’s important to me to give back to something I was a part of and help vets in need.”





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