David Leroy Buckner of Murfreesboro, TN, died comfortably at the Tennessee Veterans Home on April 28, 2021. He was born on July 18th of 1929. Mr. Buckner attained the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army, and the Army was the best part of his life.
After entering the military as an enlisted man and serving in Korea, he worked his way up through the ranks to retire as a general. He began his commissioned service in the United States Army upon successful completion of Officer Candidate School Class number 11, 10 April 1952. In February 1953, he was sent to Korea, where he was a Second Lieutenant and performed the duties of Platoon Leader and then Battalion Adjutant before his return stateside. Buckner served as Executive Officer in A Company, 1st Airborne Battle Group, 325th Inf, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At Fort Benning, Georgia, he attended the Officer Advanced Course and Ranger School. After completion of several Special Forces Schools, Buckner became a Detachment Commander, A Company, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Badtoltz, Germany, where he remained until February 1964. He also served as Battalion Commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam, 1968-69. Returning to Germany, he served in the Berlin Brigade as a Battalion Commander. He was selected to attend the prestigious National War College in Washington, D. C. Additionally, he served in two positions at the Pentagon. Later he returned to Fort Bragg as a Colonel for the 1st Brigade from 1974 – 1976 and then returned to Fort Benning as head of the Airborne Department, where he was promoted to Brigade General. He returned to South Korea as Assistant Division Commander of the 2nd Division and later completed his thirty-two year career at McDill Joint Command in Tampa, FL.
General Buckner had more than 500 parachute jumps with specialties of Ranger, Master Parachutist, Pathfinder, Marine Wings, and Aviator. His awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, 2d award; Legion of Merit w/One Oak Leaf Cluster; Bronze Star Medal; Air Medal w/l Oak Leaf Cluster; Purple Heart; and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross w/Gold Star.
General Buckner spent his entire military career with former wife Ellen Buckner, who supported him along the way. They both loved military life.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon Buckner, parents Hiram and Eugenia Buckner, and his brother, Carl Buckner. He is survived by sister Esther Gray (Orval) of Woodbury, nephew Steve Buckner (Laura), and many other nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Tennessee State Veterans Home for the excellent and loving care he received while staying there and to the staff at Adams Place for their care during his stay in assisted living.
After a private family service in Murfreesboro, he will be buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
All The Way, Sir.