5 Marble Hill classmates reunite after drafted together 50 years - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

5 Marble Hill classmates reunite after drafted together 50 years ago

(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

Fifty years ago five friends were drafted together and went into basic training.

They all went to Woodland High School in Marble Hill back in the early 1960's and graduated in 1963.

They celebrated their 50th year reunion of being drafted on Sunday. 

The VFW Hall was full of people, stories, and a wall full of military mementos.

They have shared many memories throughout the years.

The five veterans who were honored were Larry Mayfield, Obed Rhodes, Don Page, David Hastings, and David Mouser.

Unfortunately, not all five were present. David Mouser couldn't make it due to feeling ill.

He was not forgotten though. A chair was left for him in his absence and he was honored just the same as the other four. 

When entering in the hall, we found these four friends talking and laughing with others as they shared stories of the past with one another and with others.

Each have their own stories to share but all include their friends in those stories. 

"These people come over and see us and thank us for serving our country, it's a big deal to me," Hastings said. 

It was November of 1965. These five men were sworn in together on the same day.

They knew it was rare that five friends were drafted on the same day but they were happy they had each other to go through basic training together.

"We were all in the same class, the same basic training unit, it was nice seeing somebody you knew," Page said.

"We knew it was coming and it was dreading seeing the letter in the mail that said we had to go," said Rhodes. "But we'd do it again."

Rhodes and Page were in the same squad while Mayfield and Mouser were in the same platoon.

All were still within the Delta Company's 1st Battalion, Third Training Brigade. 

After the eight week basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, they went their separate ways.

Mouser was sent to Ft. Knox, Ky. and eventually to Vietnam. 

Hastings and Mayfield went to Ft. Still in Oklahoma. Hastings then went to Ft. Lewis, Wash. while Mayfield went to Ft. Carson, Co. They both ended up going to Vietnam and were part of different artillery units. 

Rhodes went on to Ft. Knox, Ky. and then to Germany as part of the reconnaissance patrol border unit. 

Page was sent to Ft. Polk, La. He then was sent Ft. Gordon, Ga. and later sent to Germany. There he served as a mechanic as part of the 25th Signal Battalion which supported the 3rd Calvary Division of the 7th Army. 

Eventually, their paths crossed again. 

Three of the five men still remain in the Marble Hill area and are members of the VFW. Hastings moved to Bowling Green, Ky. Page moved to St. Louis. 

They all met on their 25th class reunion in 1988 and again at their 50th class reunion in 2013. 

These five men said they think it's rare to have five friends go through so much together. They also said they wouldn't have it any other way. 

"But now I can look back and we can reminisce, the guys here you know," Mayfield said. "Laugh and have a good time. We're still living. We're still able to get up and go so that means a whole lot everyday."

"We all turn 70 years old and it's been 50 years since we were drafted."

These men thank the people that showed up on Sunday at the VFW in Marble Hill.

They said to know they have so much support from family and friends, make their time together so much more memorable. 

"We've all just been a brotherhood that just won't, until somebody dies, just won't break up," Rhodes said.

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