In the Capitol Report for Saturday, June 24, Patrick B. McGuigan reported that leaders of Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School have hired Cody Yocom, an acclaimed educator with success in public charter schools in Texas and Louisiana. He moved to the Sooner State to administer Cristo Rey, opening Fall 2018, to “offer families with limited educational opportunities an affordable and transformative educational option.” News9 reporter Alex Cameron asked the CapitolBeatOK editor about a recent interview with “a member of the Greatest Generation.”
McGuigan sketched his exchange with Hall Duncan, now 93 years old, who served in Patton’s Third Army. Some years ago, thanks to research by U.S. Sen. James Lankford, Duncan’s heroism in combat became widely known. He belatedly was presented a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other recognition for service in 1944-45. McGuigan told a story he shared with Duncan about a French woman who, as a young girl, had kissed an American soldier as his unit passed through her town. She later searched for him, but learned he had been died in combat a few miles down the road. She found his grave, and then spent her life caring for it. She passed that task on to her daughter, grand-daughter and great-granddaughter.
Responding to the tale, Duncan said he had a happier experience. Although he never kissed a French girl as his unit moved inland in 1944, some years ago a woman presented herself at an event honoring him in northern France. She had missed her chance to greet an American soldier as a teen-age girl.
To the cheers of onlookers, including her husband, the French woman in her ninth decade kissed the U.S. Army veteran.McGuigan said that might have been his most poignant exchange with Hall Duncan. Concerning veterans like Hall, he reflected, “We can’t do enough for them.”