This is the 10th installment in our ongoing oral history project. You can read previous chapters here. After final proofing and editing, it will be published in The Book of OIL: Volume Five (2015). Look for it on Amazon.
Celebrating 10 Seasons
2015 marked the 10th season of the OklahomIraqis League. It was special, and, behind the scenes, Cliburn had been thinking about it for years.
CLIBURN: Every summer, I reach out to guys asking where they'd like to have the draft party. In 2012, I text Pyle about it and mentioned our 10-year draft.
PYLE: I gave him my opinion about the 2012 draft, but I reminded him that we needed to do something big for the 10th season.
CLIBURN: So I was brainstorming ideas for quite a while.
PYLE: The thought of a SECFOR reunion had briefly crossed my mind a couple of time before celebrating Killman's life, but when a large number of us gathered to celebrate Killman's life, reality set in that we need to be reuniting on a regular basis. Once again the OIL served its original purpose of providing a means of bringing everyone together.
DUFFY: I think everyone realized the need to get the band together after SECFOR brothers Joseph Killman and Michael Tenequer passed away.
CLIBURN: True. After the tragedy of Killman's and Tenequer's deaths, my thoughts turned from having the best draft party to having the best reunion.
DUFFY: And, since expanding by 14 teams in 2014 had turned out well, Cliburn wanted to expand again.
I posted the following on my personal Facebook timeline. I did it because it's something I don't think a lot of people know and, the more people that know the difference between the holidays, the fewer awkward moments I'll experience when someone thanks me for my service on Memorial Day.
But OIL manager Lance Zerger, who has completed three combat tours himself, provided an alternate take on the subject that I thought was worth sharing:
Dear Fellow Veterans,
Good point, Zerger. I'll be thinking of both Landrum and Lawson, as well as SGT Jeremy King. After the jump is my memory of the day he died.
1LT Brandon Landrum served with the 158 as a medic before receiving his commission and going active-duty. On May 4, 2013, he was killed while serving in Afghanistan. The OIL named the PFC trophy after him, and now the state of Oklahoma has honored him by naming a section of highway after him.