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It is often said that football is a way of life in Texas. For Robert F. “Bob” Wright of Bryan, it has been his life, even in the military during World War II.

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Ralph E. Plagens will celebrate his 92nd birthday on February 22. He is quick to inform you that the Good Lord has been with him all of his li…

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Hershell Eskue is a physically strong man, even at the age of 86. Having been a professional farrier, or horseshoer, from 1960 to 1995, a person would reason that is why he is a strong man at his age.

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Many in our community are familiar with the name and face of Gen. Wesley E. Peel, the long time Vice Chancellor of Facilities, Planning and Co…

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It is said that time stands still for no man. For George Cox of the Cooks Point in Burleson County, time not only stood still but came roaring…

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During World War II, most Americans were involved, in some form or fashion, in the war effort. Sometimes it put an entire generation of a family in harms way. Such was the case of the Kovar family of Snook.

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When Basel Wheeles, now of Franklin, was growing up in the Easterly Community of Robertson County, survival was all most folks had on their mind.

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Ask anyone who served in the military if they have ever heard of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and they will probably tell you yes. It i…

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A lot of veterans from World War II have souvenirs from the war. Many have their military awards and ribbons in shadow boxes their families pr…

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Most of us are working because we must. Some have the good fortune to have been able to retire. But there is one, Dr. Paul Van Riper, who at a…

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For many whose stories have appeared, World War II was a difficult experience but an experience most would do again. For Robert S. Evins of Br…

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I have decided that when or if I reach the age of 95, I want to be just like Robert Manning of Bryan. When I interviewed Mr. Manning, it was o…

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Lannes Hope of Bryan was an accomplished musician and always wanted to be a band director. His involvement in combat in World War II and his r…

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Horace R. Park celebrated his 89th birthday on June 11, and he will agree that he has had a full and rewarding life. Part of that rewarding li…

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Very few achieve the status of a legend among their peers, but that is the situation with Ray Akins of the Shiloh community in Robertson Count…

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While growing up in Covington, Oklahoma in the 1930s, Edwin Fischer knew there was a big world out there that he wanted to see, so in 1940 whe…

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Harry E. Starr is like most of the World War II veterans: Their service was something they just didn’t discuss with others except with those w…

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Frank Litterst's story began on June 15, 1922. According to Litterst, he has been an Aggie since that date. His father, Frank Sr., was in the …

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John Whitley, of Iola, joined the Army in September 1941, and had just completed his basic training at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on Saturday,…

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Living in the Ninevah Coummunity of Leon County in the 1930s and 40s meant you were 20 miles from a telephone, or so it seemed. That was where…

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George Scearce Jr. of Navasta was a radio operator/gunner on a B-25 bomber in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. His memories …

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If attitude and the approach you take to life is a factor in staying young, longer, then C.B. “Buddy” McGown of Bryan is getting younger -- no…

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Growing up and farming on the Trinity River sometimes felt like you were in the middle of an ocean it flooded. That was the most water Gerald …

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When the war began, L.S. “Bill” Pope was a student at Michigan State and thought the war would be over before he could graduate, so he left sc…

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For some, a job in the Army meant a paycheck or a better-paying job than what was available in the civilian sector. Such was the plight of Ple…

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Karl J. Koenig has lectured students for over 40 years as a geology professor at Texas A&M. But it was a lecture he received at an officer…

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Charlie Dileo has a lot of experiences to look back on after 86 years of life, but one experience he will always remember was his time in the …

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James T. Wade lives on property just off Dowling Road which was first purchased by his grandfather John Dowling in 1895. Except for the time h…

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When I called Robert Holt, who lives in the Plantersville community of Grimes County, to ask if he would consider being interviewed, I told hi…

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On December 7, 1941, James W. Richards was as student at A&M Consolidated school and was attending the Sunday afternoon movie at the Campu…

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Daniel Ruiz of Bryan lives in a military neighborhood. The names of the streets in the area are Patton, Montgomery, Bradley, Eisenhower and Mc…

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Any World War II pilot who completed 25 successful missions was granted leave. When 22-year-old Luther Bird captained his B-17 bomber into Ger…

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For those who may have entered Shipley Do-Nuts on Villa Maria in Bryan between the hours of 7 and 10 a.m., you probably noticed a collection o…

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A lot of people grow up in unique environments, but none more unique than Charles Stasny of Bryan, who lived most of childhood in a fire stati…

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When Hearne resident Baylor Carrington was growing up in the Marquez Community of Leon County, flying in an airplane was something people did …

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With the beginning of World War II, there were many who volunteered for service in the military, and those that didn’t volunteer were eventual…

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Charles F. Lewis of Bryan participated in what was to be considered the fiercest and most crucial of all the armed confrontations of World War…

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On November 10, 1944, Pat Neff Mann was on his 24th bombing mission as a bombadier for the 13th Airforce, 307th Bomb Group 474th Squadron. He …

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Those who saw the movie “Flags of Our Fathers” may recall the brutal and stark landscape on Iwo Jima. According to Hawley E. West of Kurten, t…

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Carlos B. Pegues of the Plainview Community near Normangee is a veteran of World War II and is a godly, thoughtful man. The heading of these a…

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Douglas P. Starr of College Station looks almost too young to be a World War II veteran. That may be due in part to good genes and a healthy a…

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Curtis Beckham of Bryan survived two beach landings and seven campaigns, from Sicily to Central Europe. When asked if he was lucky to have sur…

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As a Marine during World War II, George Mallard has a lot of memories. Some good, others not so good. But the one memory that will always rema…

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R.P. Stevens Sr. of Bryan was hoping the war was going to pass him by, but it didn’t.“I had to leave school early in my life to help my family…

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Some people claim to be lucky, but Oran D. Evans claims to have had a guardian angel. He may be right, because Evans had several close calls w…

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April 21st is Muster Day. A special day in the lives of all Aggies but it is of special significance for an Aggie named Freddie Wolters, who p…

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Life has its twists and turns and most of the time, and just being in the right or wrong place at the right or wrong time can affect our lives…

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For Joe L. Palermo of Bryan, now 93 years old, his memory of World War II comes in stops and starts. But if you take the time for his mind to …

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The significance of a single soldier’s action in battle is seldom if ever known by the individual soldier himself. Most will say they were doi…

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Joseph “Joe” Brusse of College Station has experienced one parachute jump and he hopes to never have another, because that one jump landed him…

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After Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, Cicero Allen, of the Piedmont Community of Grimes County, was one of the first to answer th…

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Marvin Posey, now of Hearne, is a veteran of World War II and his story is very similar to many from his generation, except for one thing: He …

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Jose Pernia of College Station is a veteran of WWII but it was not until 1996 that he became a U.S. citizen. His story began in his native cou…

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Most often when someone was drafted into the military, their background mattered little as the military would train you for what its needs wer…

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Henry J. Piwonka, now 90 years old, has seen and experienced a lot during his lifetime. But one experience that will forever remain fresh in h…

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At just about any Texas A&M athletic function, chances are you will see John Atterbury and his wife, Josie. There aren't many Aggies as lo…

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At 89 years of age, C.C. “Son” Vick would expect to be called “Pop.” But when he was 28, he was called "Pop" because he was the oldest crew me…

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We are taught that we are our brother's keeper, but for brothers Jules and George Jacquin, that idea had a special meaning during World War II…

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Fourteen days is not a long time, especially as you get older. In the spring of 1945 Jesse Heine, now of Robertson County, spent 14 of the lon…

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As you drive north out of Franklin on Highway 79 you pass the old Franklin High football field. That field was the scene of many great battles…

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Frances Gough can lay claim to having nursed more sick Aggies than any other person in history, and few, if any, would dispute her claim.From …

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A lot of people have used political influence to avoid military service, but very few have used political influence to join the military. Haro…

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Ivo D. Junek of Bryan, formerly of Snook, was an artillery gunner during World War II, but his only experience as a pilot almost cost him and …

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At Lamar Haines’s age, a lot of men wear hearing aids, but he has been wearing his for most of his life. They are the permanent reminder of hi…

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Paul Ybarra of Navasota is a kind, friendly man who meets everyone with a smile. But when recounting some of his experiences during World War …

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Many combat veterans have memories, both good and bad, that surface from time to time. Howard Caillouet of the Whitehall Community of Grimes C…

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Lloyd Whitmire was a country boy from Madisonville who never expected to leave the family farm, much less be a  world traveler. But a world tr…

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Oda L. Pate of Kurten has a lot of souvenirs from World War II and with each there is a story. Very interesting stories. The souvenirs he does…

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Elton Ford, now of College Station, was and still is a “big guy.” Growing up in Taft, Texas, all the kids called him “Big-Un” and when he atte…

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Fred Rennels Jr. of Bryan had always thought of himself as a lucky guy. But in 1942 ,after his three tentmates were the first pilots killed in…

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Tony Varisco Jr. of the Steele Store in Brazos County has lived on and farmed the same land for all his 86 years."My parents were immigrants f…

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As a young man, working on his parents farm in the Durango community near Lott, J.W. "Jack" Currie would watch the planes that flew over, vowi…

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A lot of veterans brought back their memories from World War II, but Paul Ponzio brought that and music when he came home from the war in Euro…

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Sam Cook of Navasota was married for 57 years before his wife died and during his marriage he had to perform husbandly chores many many times.…

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She is a country girl and proud of that fact. Fraulein “Flo” Sims was born and raised in College Station, Texas in the 1920s. In 1942, her old…

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Vaughn Manning always wanted to fly. After he graduated from Lampassas High School and was drafted in 1943, he took and passed the flight exam…

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There are a lot of “Good Ags” around our community, but there are probably none more loyal or a “Greater Ag” than Keith Langford.“I was born o…

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Bill Palmos, of the Hearne law firm Palmos, Russ, McCullough and Russ, is starting his 67th year as a licensed attorney but only his 63rd year…

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Roy W. Kelly may have the most unique experience of anyone who served in World War II. He may be the only person who served aboard a submarine…

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The stories of the soldiers and sailors tell about their involvement in World War II are interesting and oftentimes memorable. But the stories…

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Hubert W. Conway of Bryan did not volunteer or want to go to war, but he would be drafted and would end the war on the Elbe River after 128 da…

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In 1943, Neal Berry, who had just graduated from school at Flynn in Leon County, had to register for the draft. When he went for his physical …

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George Russell, of the New Baden community of northern Robertson County, has “cowboyed” and run cattle all his life. It has been such a part o…

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Some people credit their hard work or skill when they succeed in an endeavor. Some depend on others, some on luck. Hubert Lewis of Centerline …

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Hilton Butler of Bryan has permanent reminders of World War II -- loss of hearing in both ears, balance problems and little bits of shrapnel t…

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Louis Hudson was born into a family that believed in the power of prayer. It was to be something he would rely on to survive during his time o…

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Fred L. Nabors decided early in his education that he wanted to be an engineer. He just didn’t think his first job as an engineer would be as …

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As a career postal employee, W. S. Edmonds of Bryan has been carrying messages for a good portion of his life. At one time he carried his nati…

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Most of the sailors and soldiers who served during World War II have special memories of the places they served and the people they served wit…

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Rowland Ball of Brenham, 91, is about to embark on a cruise with his new bride, Dorothy who is 92. Before they left on their cruise I got him …

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Bill J. Ravey of Bryan had a goal of becoming an electrical engineer, but World War II changed that goal and the direction his life would take…

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If records had been maintained by the World War II veteran who held the most varied rank and who flew the most different type planes, then it’…

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During World War II, our soldiers and sailors went to war but those left behind at home suffered the separation of family and the uncertaintie…

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W.F. Sander, formerly of Hearne, now a resident of the Hudson Creek retirement facility in Bryan, has enjoyed life for more than 91 years. By …

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In the military, the first sergeant is the mother hen, father confessor, disciplinarian, encourager and ultimate judge of all things affecting…

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In February 1942, Paul C. Patranella received a letter from the Selective Service board, then located at the First National Bank building on N…

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Sometimes you make choices that have long-term implications. Sometimes others make those choices, and sometimes the Good Lord intervenes for y…

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Holly Rees of Bryan is one of the very few who can still do today what they once did during World War II: Wear their old uniform.“I have had t…

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Homer B. Adams of College Station entered Texas A&M University in fall 1941 on a basketball scholarship. But it took him five more years b…

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Edward Kozlowski knew what he wanted to do with his life when an airplane landed at his family’s farm in Necedah, Wisconsin. The pilot asked t…

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Life for Henry Hilton started in Bryan on Old College Road, but he spent 50-plus years of his life abroad before coming back home to Brazos Co…

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Morris A. Maddox of Bryan spent 18 months in the “tree army” before he was drafted into the Army during World War II and that time of service …

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During World War II, most all eligible members of each family served in the military service.  Hopefully all would come home afterwards but some families paid the ultimate price. Such was the circumstances for the Vick family of Bryan.

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When Edward Hary was deciding to join the military service in 1942, he had heard his father’s stories about the infantry in WWI and his brothe…

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“If you didn’t have friends to help you, you probably weren’t going to survive. I am here today because of my friends. They saved my life. Tha…

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When J.C. Grady graduated from Pecan Gap High in 1942, he had one goal: to enlist in the Air Force and fly. When he took the flight test, he a…

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Alfred E. “Al” Hanson is a man who enjoys life and the people in his life. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled as much as I did while conducting his interview for this article. Whenever the phone would ring, which it did often, he would say, “that’s probably President Bush calling." He never did say which one.

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In 1942, Perry W. Shirley of Bryan found out that your personal qualifications to serve your country depended on your country’s need at the time.

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The USS Natoma Bay, an aircraft carrier, was involved in 13 battles during World War II, including the greatest sea battle of the war, Leyte G…

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When B.J. “Bill” Kling went to work, on a two-week job as a member of a survey crew in Matagorda County in 1937, he had no idea it would be something he would be involved with for almost 70 years.

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Willie Ulich of Lyons in Burleson County, now almost 87, is considered to be blind because of macular degeneration. But he has seen a lot in his lifetime. A life that will end where it began.

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Raul P. “Roy” Hererra can claim some of the most diverse training received during World War II. He was trained as a paratrooper and a frogman but ended up not using any of that training. His combat action was as an infantryman in the Philippines.

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When Remus Jones graduated from high school in Corsicana, the Great Depression was in full bloom and no jobs were available. The only job he could get was with the Texas National Guard, so he signed up.

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On the afternoon of December 7, 1941, J.B. “Dick” Hervey, then a senior at Texas A&M, was taking advantage of the free movie offered by the campus theater.

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Jim Gordon, who grew up in Gilmer, Texas, was allowed to graduate from high school in January 1943, before the rest of his class, so he could …

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