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Honor Flight: Playing basketball, from Oregon State in Corvallis to the Army in Korea

Don Amacher played basketball for Slats Gill at Oregon State University. (From SBG video)

Three dozens veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam leave May 11 on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

KVAL News anchor David Walker and photojournalist Loren Ruark will be with them.

Watch #LiveOnKVAL at 6 p.m. this week to meet veterans taking part. Starting May 11, watch at 5 & 6 p.m. for live Honor Flight reports.

EUGENE, Ore. - Don Amacher played basketball for Slats Gill at Oregon State University.

He graduated in June 1951.

His draft notice arrived 4 months later.

"Back then it was mandatory that they take 2 years of ROTC at Oregon State," he said, "and I had 2 years, so I signed up for officers school."

During basic training, he played basketball on a team that won the 'all-Army' championships.

In Korea, Amacher reported to a captain who was waiting for the kid from Oregon State.

"He says, 'You played basketball at Oregon State?' I said, 'Yes sir.' 'You were on last year's Camp Roberts - you won the 6th Army championship on the West Coast.' I said, 'Yes sir.' And he says, 'I see you're the all-Army champions.' I say, 'Yes sir, I was. He said, 'Well, you're the coach'."

When he returned to Oregon after the Army, Amacher became a successful real estate developer in Eugene.

"I remember seeing houses built in Korea in these towns like Tagu and Tajan out of Schlitz cans," he said. "They'd take a beer can and cut the ends of them and then put one this way and the other one this way and make a whole wall. Schlitz or Pabst Blue Ribbon."

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