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Posted: April 14, 2017

Vietnam veteran honored in Henryetta highway dedication

By Jenny Young

News | KOKI


Quick Facts:

  • A 3-mile stretch of I-40 now honors Lance Corporal Anthony Grundy
  • He died as a marine serving in Vietnam in 1968
  • His body was buried in Clearview; the Henryetta Veteran’s Cemetery denied his burial because he was black
  • That revelation prompted his former classmates and a VFW commander to seek the dedication
  • The dedication sign is on East I-40, just before the Henryetta exit

The ultimate sacrifice and a racial conflict turned into a highway dedication for a Green Country marine.

Lance Corporal Anthony Grundy died in July 1968. The 20-year-old died in action in Vietnam.

Before his deployment, Grundy lived his entire life in Henryetta.

Upon his body’s return, however, the Henryetta Veteran’s Ceremony turned him away because he was black.

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His body rests now in Clearview.

According to the family, a former classmate tried to visit his grave, assuming it was in the veteran’s cemetery.

The family told him what happened.

The classmate gathered others, including a VFW commander who went to school with Grundy. Together with Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah), they got Grundy added to HB 2268.

The bill, signed by Governor Mary Fallin in May 2016, dedicates a 3-mile stretch of I-40 to Grundy. The sign designates “Lance Corporal Anthony Grundy Memorial Highway” just before the Henryetta exit.

Friday, the road was officially dedicated. His 3 living siblings, other family, and many in the community gathered to celebrate the youngest of 11.

VFW Commander Bill Goodner spoke along with Sen. Thompson.

Thompson said “Stretches of Highway are not just given out. It has to be earned, and this was earned.” 

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