Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Mark Douglas Diggs

First Lieutenant

Bronze Star


Mark Douglas Diggs was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, graduating from Arkansas State University with a degree in Mathematics. He was designated a Distinguished Military Graduate and commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in 1970 as a Field Artillery officer.

Ordered to Vietnam in 1971 Lieutenant Diggs saw heavy combat as part of operation Lam Son 719 along the Laos/ Vietnam border. He was wounded June 2nd 1971 and received his first Purple Heart near the DMZ. In late September the Cambodian border area just northwest of Saigon erupted with a major enemy offensive. His Battalion Commander asked Lieutenant Diggs to move to Fire Support Base Pace as the 200 Americans stationed there had been cut off and surrounded by enemy troops. The situation was extremely precarious and strong leadership was desperately needed. He was air inserted by helicopter into Pace through enemy gunfire and took over as Executive Officer. He found that the gun crews had taken 60% casualties at that point and were reluctant to man their Guns because it exposed them to heavy enemy mortar. Lieutenant Diggs rallied his troops by helping to man the Guns himself and exposing himself to enemy fire during the 23 day siege. He was wounded again on October 12th and received a second award of the Purple Heart. Under his extraordinary leadership however, the gun crews responded and the Base held on until the siege was broken in late October. Lieutenant Diggs was awarded the Bronze Star medal for his courage, initiative, and determination.

Lieutenant Diggs serves on the National Advisory Council for the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans and is the Founder and a Director of Veterans Villages of America, a nonprofit with the mission to be an advocate for and provide services to veterans and their families.