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A Veteran Not Forgotten

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Greco, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    Russell Keck was my friend. We were children together growing up in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Russell was never very big, probably never weighing more than 130 pounds, but his courage was large. As a young teenager, he was once challenged by the town bully. He wouldn't back down. While he lost that encounter, he was never again bothered by him. He was that kind of person.

    The mid-60's found our nation deeply divided. Our military had been placed in harm's way in a war of choice. Our leaders frequently misled America about the true status of the war's progress. We were told "it's better to fight them over there than at home." Critics of the reasoning behind the war were often labeled as "un-patriotic traitors" and worse. The Selective Service Administration was operating the national draft, replenishing our troop needs. Those that didn't have "other priorities", or lacked family connections to secure highly prized, safe, stateside military service in National Guard units faced the real possibility of being drafted and placed in the war zone.

    Russell made the decision to not wait to be drafted, and instead enlisted in the Marine Corps. His internal spirit made him an ideal candidate to become a Marine. I remember clearly the last conversation we had before he left to begin his training. He was enthusiastic, believed in what he was doing, and anxious to start. While I was in basic training with the U.S. Army at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, during a phone call home I learned that my friend, Russell Keck, had been killed. Years later I learned some of the details. He was killed on May 18, 1967 from small arms fire at Quang Tri.

    He was 20 years old.

    I always admired his courage. I respect his commitment to a cause he believed in. I miss his smile. You can visit Cpl. Russell Keck at Panel 20E, Line 30 on the Vietnam Memorial
     
  2. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Your friend was a hero in the worldwide fight against communism, and should never be forgotten.
     
  3. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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  4. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    Yes, it does.
     
  5. Mr. Shaman

    Mr. Shaman New Member

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    I had a friend, Chris, back then. He was never the sharpest-tack-in-the-box, but ended-up goin' Infantry, after takin' an early-out from High School.

    To most peoples' surprise, he'd survived two tours, over there.....while he had his Mom bankin' all the buck$ he was sending-back; the most money he'd (ever) expected to earn. His plans (I'd heard) were to come home and buy a brand-new '67 427-'Vette (a machine that'd killed it's share of 'Nam-Vets).

    He came home, only to find-out his (alcoholic) Mom had spent every penny he'd sent home.

    It was probably best he ended-up leaving town, shortly after. Nobody wants to kill their Mom.

    Strange years, those were.

    *

    A Vet's Message To The GOP on Veterans Day -- Shove It
     
  6. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    I "went infantry" too. Actually that's not correct. The Army assigned me to infantry. After completing advanced infantry training at Ft. Ord, California, I had home leave. I took a bus to Travis AFB at Oakland to hop a military flight back to Oklahoma. For two days I sat in the terminal waiting for a plane. During those two days, at least once per hour, 24 hours a day, I saw a plane loading with soldiers heading to Vietnam. The family good-byes are still burned in my memory. I wondered at the time how many weren't going to make it back alive. I wondered the same thing about myself. Yes, those were strange years.
     
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