Adams, Byers and Cain all were drafted into the military. They spent about 13 months in Vietnam, and all three were discharged in 1968.
The conversation in the restaurant parking lot was lighthearted, but it was evident all three Marines experienced some tough and dangerous times in Vietnam.
“Did you have any close calls?” a reporter wondered.
Byers, who could well front for a stand-up comedian, started laughing.
“The closest call I had was when a member of the Viet Cong cut my hair,” he grinned.
It happened. Apparently some war prisoners were doubling as barbers and one of them cut Byers’ hair.
“I made some remarks about the Viet Cong while I was getting my hair cut,” Byers shuddered. “I didn’t know he was the enemy.”
Adams’ rank was corporal and Byers and Cain were lance corporals. All three were combat engineers.
“Basically, we all had the same schooling, the same training,” said Adams.
All three were discharged from the Marines in 1968 and went their separate ways.
Adams got a job in Indianapolis and was there for 13 years. Some 10 years ago, he and his wife, Brenda, came back to Pulaski County and bought the grocery store at Ano.
Byers said he piddled around for awhile in livestock and farming and then went to work in the oil fields.
Cain was in Indianapolis for about a year and then worked at Sun Chemicals in Cincinnati. It was here he met Bryant and they have been close friends for 40 years.
Adams and Cain are 66. Byers is 67.
A reporter suggested a good photograph would be the three former Marines sitting in the rocking chairs on the porch at Cracker Barrel.
“Oh no, we’re not that far along,” Byers retorted. They posed beside the pickup.