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Remembering Russell

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Greco, May 25, 2009.

  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. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    What a great tribute you are for your friend!

    Thanks for sharing that... and thanks for your service as well my friend. Have one on me...


     
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