Donald Krampe (R-CA)
Campaign links: Donald Krampe (R-CA-Senate)
Donald Krampe 2012 Senatorial Candidate California Class I
Biography of Donald Krampe from Donald Krampe for Senate
The co-founder of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation Leadership Program (along with and named after his brother Hugh) and the Grand Marshal of the 2011 Murrieta Veteran’s Day Parade, Don Krampe has spent his entire lifetime serving this great nation through his selfless involvement with the military and veterans organizations. Don comes from a military family. Don, his father Don, his brother Hugh (later to star under the name Hugh O’Brian in the TV series Wyatt Earp) all served with the Marine Corps.
Don began his initial active duty assignment with the U.S. Marine Corps when his reserve unit was called up while he was attending the College of the Pacific. His unit was assigned to deploy to Korea where after landing at Inchon and becoming immediately involved in the conflict, his unit was eventually tasked with identifying and removing casualties following the legendary Chosin Reservoir campaign. Following the war, Don returned to finish his degree at College of Pacific and subsequently followed this by later earning a master’s degree at California Lutheran University. Following Korea, he soon became actively employed in administrative duties with the YMCA, both in Mount Diablo and Hollywood. However, he was not done serving his country when in 1965 at the onset of the major portion of the Vietnam War combat activities he was asked to bring his expertise and leadership skills to Vietnam where he would oversee USO operations throughout Southeast Asia in support of the American forces.
This expertise combined with a facility in the components of leadership segues into another illustration of Don’s lifelong desire to be of service to his country; in this instance, to its youth, something which he accomplished most notably through the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation Leadership Program. Inspired by Albert Schweitzer, brother Hugh asked Don to join him in establishing a program through which young people could meet and interact with successful leaders. So what began in 1958 when the Krampe brothers traveled to Santa Catalina Island with a handful of high school sophomores to meet and learn some valuable leadership skills from well-known film director Cecil B. DeMille, has since grown to a program serving over 9,000 high school students from 50 states and 29 countries.
Don over the course of his lifetime also has provided invaluable assistance to America’s veterans as well. In his capacity with the Veterans Administration of Greater Los Angeles, he functioned as the local representative in Southern California helping veterans returning from war in gaining employment. He also served as the San Francisco area director of savings bonds, and is even today often called upon by various veterans organizations both locally and nationally to be a motivational speaker. His most ambitious effort to date is being integral in the creation of a veterans memorial in Murrieta, which will honor veterans of all wars, and about which he proudly proclaims “will be the most unique one of any city in the United States.”
Notable among his many awards are the United States of America medal for civilian service in South Vietnam, a President Gerald R. Ford letter of commendation, and the Federal Executive Board of Los Angeles’ distinguished public service award. Especially notable was his recent invitation on behalf of the Republic of South Korea to return to Korea in 2011 to represent the USMC in a celebration of its efforts there in the ‘50s.
Don has dedicated his life to serving others through his involvement in many organizations: National Military Society Scabbard and Blade: Heroes of ’76 National Sojourners Inc.; 32nd Degree Scottish Rite, York Rite Knight’s Templar, and Noble Shrine; Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonels. Life member of Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League, 1st Marine Division Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars and The Korean War Association, Inc.
Don currently resides in Murrieta with his wife, Jean Carol. Their children and grandchildren live in Oklahoma and California.