HENRYETTA, OKLAHOMA -- He was the first of 11 brothers and sisters to attend a desegregated Henryetta school.
Anthony Grundy's 5th grade class picture has him in the back row.
Mike Doak was a year ahead of him.
"Good kid," he recalls. "Quiet."
All these years later Mike often things of how their lives ran parallel, how Anthony joined the Marines in 1967, how Mike was drafted into the Marines a year later.
But Anthony didn't come home.
He was killed during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.
"I hated to hear it," says Doak. "He was the only Henryetta student to die in Vietnam."
Nearly 50 years later, Doak has gotten to know Anthony's surviving family, brother Alpheus Grundy and his wife Dorothy, and another longtime Marine, former Staff Sgt. Billy Ray Walker.
They are close now because of what happened when Anthony's body came home all those years ago.
When Grundy's parents sought permission to bury their son with other veterans in the Henryetta Cemetery they were denied permission.
The reason officials gave was painfully inadequate.
Alpheus Grundy recalls, "We tried in Henryetta but they said they didn't have the space."
"I didn't cry then but I cried later," he continues.
The Grundys could have fought the decision, but given the times and culture than often refused to honor living Vietnam Veterans, they buried Anthony in the all black community of nearby Clearview, Oklahoma.
In wasn't until a reunion about ten years ago that Mike Doak found out what had happened.
He says, "The hair on everybody's neck stood up and so we've got to make up for it. I kept poking around for some way to honor Anthony."
Mike got to work rebuilding Clearview's War Memorial.
He and Billy Ray made sure Anthony's name was properly added.
The Doughboy memorial in town now proudly displays his name with other fallen soldiers.
Even Billy Ray, who joined the Marines to avenge his friend's death, feels better now that times appear to have changed.
"It still stings," he says. "But the thing is this great community has really started shining and recognizing what all we went through."
Thanks to renewed efforts to right an old wrong, the Henryetta Historical Museum gave Anthony an honorable place in its displays.
Next November, Mike Doak says the Oklahoma Highway Department will officially re-name a portion of Interstate 40 near Henryetta the Anthony Grundy Memorial Highway.