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2016 Oolitic Festival Committee Names Grand Marshals
Updated June 7, 2016 10:55 AM
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Back Row R- L - Pfc. Dennis Lackey, Cpl. Bill Blackwell Front Row R-L - Pfc. Terry Graves, Lance Cpl. Ronnie Blackburn, Sgt. Mike Strunk

(OOLITIC) - The 2016 Oolitic Festival committee has named six United States Marines as Grand Marshals.

Being honored are:

  • Pfc. Dennis Lackey
  • Cpl. Bill Blackwell
  • Pfc. Terry Graves
  • Lance Cpl. Ronnie Blackburn
  • Sgt. Mike Strunk

Posthumous Grand Marshals are:

  • Cpl. Jack Chorley
  • Cpl. Dennis Lee Turner

It has been difficult to gather information on these men, because they don't like talking about their war experiences.

We do know in November 1968 the seven young men from Oolitic left for Indianapolis to be sworn in the United States Marine Corps.

The group had been in the reserves for a month, joined the regular Corps and received training in San Diego CA.

"None really want to talk about their experience," says Ray Lindsey, who is on the festival committee and pushed to have these men honored. "They all fought in the jungle, all were exposed to Agent Orange, one has a 6 to 10 inch war wound, another still has shrapnel in his body. We want to honor these Marines from Oolitic that served their country proudly and they still suffer from the effects of war many years later. If ever there are heroes, these men are it!"

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