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Life-Long Resident of El Dorado Except for Two-Year Stint in U.S. Army

EL DORADO, Kansas (KSNW) — David McCoy, a graduate of El Dorado High School in 1958, embarked on his career as a mechanic at a Cadillac garage during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency. Five years later, McCoy found himself drafted into the U.S. Army, a delay caused by the misplacement of his draft papers amidst administrative chaos.

Reflecting on the unexpected turn of events, McCoy recounted the bus journey to Kansas City for his physical examination, standing alongside fellow draftees due to overcrowding. Following the assessment, he was appointed as a platoon leader and subsequently underwent basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Transitioning to Fort Gordon, Georgia, McCoy found himself enrolled in an unexpected program—typing school. The solemn moment when news of President Kennedy’s assassination broke during a typewriting session left a lasting impact on McCoy and his comrades, triggering heightened alertness amidst fears of potential military action.

Subsequently stationed at Fort Benning in early 1965, McCoy assumed responsibilities in the division signal office, overseeing radio and communication operations. As the Vietnam War escalated, McCoy found himself on the brink of departure, contemplating the uncertainties of combat in a foreign land.

Opting to return to civilian life upon completing his service, McCoy resumed his role as a mechanic, reflecting on the paths not taken and the comrades he might have lost in the throes of war. Despite the lingering thoughts of what could have been, McCoy remains proud of his veteran status, cherishing the gratitude and respect he receives to this day.

Transitioning to entrepreneurship, McCoy ventured into the gas station business in El Dorado in 1970 before transitioning to work at the local refinery and later assisting his brother in hauling hot asphalt. At 84 years old, McCoy continues to reside in El Dorado, a testament to his enduring legacy.