1st Sergeant Donald Hamblen enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950. After his initial training, he was assigned to D 2/5 in Korea. 1st Sgt Hamblen served with distinction as a Scout/Sniper. During an engagement with Chinese Communists forces, he was wounded in a mortar barrage. While being evacuated by a litter team, his group was ambushed by an element of Chinese infantrymen. Hamblen was again wounded, after being shot in the leg. Despite his wounds, Hamblen quickly made his way back to his unit and was promoted to squad leader.