Mike was born in Shelbyville, Indiana on October 20, 1943. His father served in the Army (retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel) and his mother worked as a registered nurse. Mike lived in Germany, Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana during his father’s military career, finally settling in Nashville, Tennessee in 1957. He graduated from Father Ryan High School in 1961. He is also a graduate of the University of Nebraska under the Army’s Bootstrap Program.
Mike entered the U. S. Army in April 1962, as Special Forces Airborne. He attended Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, SC, AIT (Advanced Individual Training) at Ft. Gordon, GA, and Airborne School and the Special Forces Training Group at Ft. Benning, GA, from which he graduated in 1963. His first assignment after graduating Special Forces training was to Co. B, 7th Special Forces Group Airborne (SFGA). After more extensive training, Mike was assigned to Team A726, Co. C, 7th SFGA for deployment to the Republic of South Vietnam, where the team was attached to the 5th Special Forces Group and stationed at Camp Nam Dong. Camp Nam Dong was attacked on July 6, 1964, by a North Vietnamese Army battalion that, 3 days earlier, had overrun another Special Forces detachment camp to the north. During this action, Mike was wounded twice. For his action in defense of the camp, Mike was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. (His team leader, CPT Roger Donlon, who was wounded four times, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for directing the defense of the camp.)
Mike went on to attend Infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Ft. Benning, graduating in 1966 as the Honor and Distinguished Graduate and Leadership Graduate, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Following graduation from OCS, Mike was assigned to the 509th Airborne Infantry/Mechanized in Mainz, Germany. He was subsequently sent back to the Republic of South Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group. After his second tour in Vietnam, Mike continued to serve in the Army in various assignments. He separated from the Army in 1975 as a Captain.
Upon returning to civilian life, Mike worked as a sales representative for Cutter Laboratories, first in Bandon, FL, transferring to Atlanta, GA, where he and his family lived for the next forty years. Mike moved to Lewisburg, TN, in 2016, and to Southern Springs in June 2022.
Mike currently serves as the Adjutant of the Southern Springs Veterans Club. He has been married for 59 years to his wife Judy (Heins) of Nashville, TN. The couple have two children, Shelly Disser, Ph. D., of Spring Hill, TN, and Michael Disser of Suches, GA; and five grandchildren.