By the end of his 25-year military career, Donnie Dunagan was a highly decorated Major who received two awards for Valor in Combat as well as a Purple Heart.

He says the Marines were a perfect fit for him—as long as no one found out about his past. As a youngster, Dunagan was briefly a child actor who was tapped by Walt Disney to be the voice of Bambi in the 1942 animated film.

At StoryCorps, he talked with his wife, Dana (pictured at left), about keeping his Bambi past under wraps.

Originally aired July 31, 2015, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Photos courtesy of the Dunagan family.