1954 — Smiths Grove, Ky
In Kentucky, most people call it home. It was Billy Tomes, Jr Sanders and Larry Tomes. We were a total team of "Cousins" There were only two children in Jr's Family and 12 in me and Billy's. That was not scary. Just hard times for us all. We were very close. Played together shared all and respected each other. Billy was born on Jan 5th1949 Jr on April 1947 and I on December of 1947. We became very close. We had the same relatives, interest, wants and desires. Two tragedies happened to our relationship. Billy died in a fire while saving his son in Florida. Then Jr gave his life protecting us during the Vietnam Conflict. I had joind the National Guard. We trained two weekends a month preparing ourselves for a venture in the Jungle. After losing both friends, I just didn't care. I also lost my Girlfriend. I was close to breacking down.
However, I stayed in the Guard for 10 years, then transferred to the Reserves. I never stopped training or taking responsibility. I was promoted to 1SGT and SGM. That was the load to break the Camel's back. Divorce, being single for 3 years. and Remarriage. I still have my Children and another Step=Daughter by Linda my second wife.
This was not to redirect your thoughts. But, to show what influence the two friends had on me. I totally love to have known them. I have not forgotten them and some day, I hope to see them again. May they rest in peace with God. I thank them for all they have given.
SGM Larry J Tomes USAR(ret)