This "empty chair" sits at the table which is the life of Craig Thompson:

Ken Turner

          I went through Infantry NCOC in 1967-68 (first cycle -- Class 12-68).
          During the Fort Benning phase, one of my good friends was Ken Turner.
          I 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.
          Finally 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 dinner.
          Once again Ken turned us down. But I pushed and found out why.
          Turner was a black kid from the South and he was afraid of the consequences of associating with white folks.
          After graduation (March 4, 1968), I went off for OJT at Fort Gordon.
          Turner went off to Fort Polk.
          Never saw him again.
          Turner 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.

'Empty Chairs' Homepage