© Copyright Michael Dan Kellum 2010
Michael Dan Kellum was born and raised in Longview, Texas where he presently
resides with his wife, Karen. He graduated from Longview High School in 1966 and
was active in sports--football, track and bowling. He also played baseball in the
summer months. After high school, he attended the University of Houston in Houston,
Texas for a year.
With the Vietnam War in full swing, he dropped out of college to join the United
States Marine Corps in October 1967 as an enlisted man. He completed boot camp at
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California in December 1967 and Infantry
Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton in February 1968.
After roughly five months marking time as a troop handler training Marines and then
an office clerk at Camp San Onofre on the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton military
reservation in California, he was chosen to attend Officer Candidate School at
Quantico, Virginia as part of the Enlisted Commissioning Program. Kellum was
commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in August 1968.
After completing advanced officer training at The Basic School in Charlie Co.-'69 at
Camp Barrett on the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia military reservation, his first
duty station was with Charlie Co., 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune,
North Carolina. From April to October 1969, he alternated training troops and guarding
the fence line at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as the Executive Officer of
Golf Co, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
Approximately four months after returning to Camp Lejeune in October 1969, 1stLt. Kellum received orders for
Vietnam in January 1970. He was assigned to Headquarters & Services Co., 2nd Battalion, 26th Marine
Regiment at the Rockcrusher in South Vietnam. When 2/26 rotated stateside, he was sent to Echo Co., 2nd
Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment south of Da Nang, South Vietnam in March 1970 for the remainder of his Vietnam
tour. 2/1 operated out of Camp Lauer which was within the evening shadow cast by majestic Marble Mountain
and next to the South China Sea.
At Echo, 2/1 Kellum was a platoon commander in the bush, Executive Officer and briefly near the end of his
tour the Commanding Officer during a successful heliborne operation south of Hill 55.
In June 1971 after 3½ years in the Marines and all but USMC advisors left in Vietnam
after the drawdown of U.S. troops, he elected to leave the Marine Corps and return to
He attended Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and
received his BA degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism and a
secondary major in English in 1974. His senior year, he was the editor of the student
newspaper, The Pine Log. He returned to work on his masters degree in
communications 1974-75 and helped put together the SFASU's Alumni Association's
Sawdust publication. At the end of 1975 spring semester, he decided to put his skills to
the test as a full-time newspaperman rather than complete the last 6 hours and a
thesis to attain his masters.
Over the years he has worked as a journalist at small East Texas newspapers:
Longview Morning Journal, Jacksonville Daily Progress, The (Rusk) Cherokeean
and (Atlanta) Citizens Journal. At the latter two publications he was a managing editor
and associate publisher, respectively. He has also done limited string work for The
Dallas Morning News.
Kellum is presently a self-employed contractor and an aspiring writer. Book I and II,
American Heroes: Grunts, Pilots & "Docs" are his first nonfiction books to be
published. He is also working on a fiction novel titled Cherokee Springs Chronicles
about a former Vietnam veteran who becomes the editor of a weekly newspaper in the
fictional town of Cherokee Springs, Texas. Another project involves being the historian
of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and writing a history of 2nd Battalion, 1st
Marine Regiment during the Vietnam War years, 1965-71.