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Unformatted text preview: rgaret certainly did. She called me with the news and said she needed a few days off. Her family had lived down the street from the Mooneys for many years. Her son and Pete had been close friends since childhood. I spent some time in the archives and found the 1966 story of Marvin Lee Walker, a black kid who'd been the county's first death in Vietnam. That had been before Mr. Caudle cared about such things, and theTimes coverage of the event was shamefully sparse. Nothing on the front page. A hundred-word story on page three with no photo. At the time, Clanton had no idea where Vietnam was. So a young man who couldn't go to the better schools, probably couldn't vote, and more than likely was too afraid to drink from the public water fountain at the courthouse, had been killed in a country few people in his hometown could find on a map. And his death was the right and proper thing. Communists had to be fought wherever they might be found. Margaret quietly passed along the details I needed for a story. Pete had graduated from Clanton High School in 1970. He had played varsity football and baseball, lettering in both for three years. He was an honor student who had planned to work for two years, save his money, then go to college. He was unlucky enough to have a high draft number, and in December 1970 he got his notice. According to Margaret, and this was something I could not print, Pete had been very reluctant to report for basic training. He and his father had fought for weeks over the war. The son wanted to go to Canada and avoid the whole mess. The father was horrified that his son would be labeled a draft dodger. The family name would be ruined, etc. He called the kid a coward. Mr. Mooney had served in Korea and had zero patience for the antiwar movement. Mrs. Mooney tried the role of peacemaker, but in her heart, she too was reluctant to send her son off to such an unpopular war. Pete finally relented, and now he was coming home in a box. The funeral was at the First Baptist Church, where the Mooneys had been...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.
- Spring '10