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FROM READERS: Columbia veterans meet with visiting Tuskegee Airman

Friday, May 24, 2013 | 12:36 p.m. CDT; updated 1:01 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 24, 2013
Back row: Gene Robertson, Jamesetta Logan, Doug Simmons, Sehon Williams, John Kelly
Front row: Eliot Battle, Col. McGee

Gene Robertson, an Air Force veteran, writes occasional columns for the Missourian.

On Friday morning, a group of Columbia veterans met for breakfast and conversation with Col. Charles McGee, one of the last Tuskegee Airmen. Col. McGee is visiting Columbia for this weekend's Memorial Day air show.

The meeting was convened by Jamesetta Logan and involved several former airmen and other armed services veterans.

The discussion lasted three hours. We talked about old war stories and histories of African Americans in the armed services, with a particular emphasis on the Air Force and the Tuskegee Airmen. We also talked about "Red Tails", a movie about the Tuskegee program, which Col. McGee consulted on. We also discussed how to help younger folks understand the role African Americans have played in defending the country throughout time and how to tell those stories.

Col. McGee is a graduate of Columbia College's Kansas City branch. He now lives in Maryland and is 93 years old.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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