In the 1960s, India Garnett’s family lived in Steelton. She remembers her brother Reuben telling her he wanted to join the Army.
“He wanted to go because he wanted to have a future. He wanted to go into the military and then go to college.”
“His paratrooper training was at Fort Benning. But when he came home oh it was so magical because we would know he’s on his way.”
“I could hear the car door slam and Mom would open the door and then you could hear him drop that duffel bag, that hit that floor. When that duffel bag hit the floor. All of us ran downstairs you know to see him.”
When Reuben received orders for Vietnam he came home one more time before shipping out.
“We were on the front porch and it was it was raining. I was crying. I felt the sky was crying and he said he says “Sis I want you to promise me that you’ll look out for everybody look out for you till I get home.” So I told him I would. And he said “I might not make it back.”
“I watched him walk out of sight. I was going to walk with him but he said “No Sis I’m going tough.” going away tough you know. And so I let him walk away.