The Greatest Beer Run Ever Conducted Happened In Vietnam

first published on August 22, 2017 by

John “Chickie” Donohue conducted the greatest, and most dangerous, beer run of all time during the Vietnam war. This is his story.

I once conducted a beer run in the middle of a hurricane. It was the end of 2011, and I was in the middle of a permanent change of duty station between Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. On the drive down, I met up with a buddy who was working for the Marine Special Operations Battalion, and had just gotten back from Afghanistan. He was on leave, and was waiting out the hurricane just south of Washington DC before returning home to finish up his post-deployment leave block.

During that hurricane, he and I walked down to the local liquor store dodging active downed power lines and falling trees. We returned successful about an hour after we left, and we thought we were the heroes of the hurricane party. In our minds, we had conducted the greatest beer run of all time. Unfortunately for us, after hearing this story our beer run was nothing more than child’s play.

This is the story of John “Chickie” Donohue, a merchant Marine who traveled all the way to Vietnam to bring some of his home-town buddies some Pabst Blue Ribbon. He endured several nights on the front-lines of the DMZ, and managed to find every single guy on his list of people to bring a beer to. This is what friendship looks like.