It was 1967, the height of the Vietnam War and anti-war protests here in the States, when former Marine John “Chick” Donahue decided from his bar stool inside a Manhattan canteen that our troops could use a morale boost.
It sounded like the alcohol talking when Donahue, who was 26 at the time, proclaimed that he was going over to Vietnam to give the troops some American beer. But he actually went.
Armed with little more than a big bag of beer and the names and units of some of the guys he knew from the old neighborhood, Donahue hopped a ship and headed over. But by the time he arrived some two months later, the beer was gone.
“I had drank all the beer by then,” he admits.
His incredible odyssey once he got there and set out to find his friends is the subject of Donahue’s new book, “The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A True Story of Friendship Stronger than War,” on which he collaborated with New York newspaper columnist Joanna Molloy.
In 2015, Donahue reunited with some of the guys for the first time since that noble beer run in 1968, a meeting which PBR turned into a video presentation called “The Greatest Beer Run Ever.”
Donahue’s book is available now on Amazon.