This "empty chair" sits at the table which is the
life of Craig Thompson:
went through Infantry NCOC in 1967-68 (first cycle -- Class 12-68).
the Fort Benning phase, one of my good friends was Ken Turner.
kept asking him over to dinner along with other friends but he
kept finding excuses not to come. My wife and daughter lived
in a trailer park not far off Victory Drive. I had to stay on
post during the week but could go home weekends.
the Sunday before our graduation day, my wife cooked a turkey
and we invited a whole bunch of my fellow NCOCs over for a graduation
again Ken turned us down. But I pushed and found out why.
was a black kid from the South and he was afraid of the consequences
of associating with white folks.
graduation (March 4, 1968), I went off for OJT at Fort Gordon.
went off to Fort Polk.
saw him again.
was KIA on November 17, 1968 -- fighting for a country where
he was afraid to go to a friend's house because of the color
of his skin.
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