Alvin Ray Dunn was born to Earnest and Flora Dunn in Amarillo Texas December 8th 1929. He didn’t have much of a home life and when his father passed, Flora, Genieva, Geraldine and Dad moved to Oklahoma City. Hard times forced Flora to work as a fry cook in Packing Town. When he and his sisters were placed in an orphanage Alvin lied about his age and joined the Army. After basic training he was sent to Korea to fight the Chinese. A brutal 17 day battle in freezing November where 30,000 troops were encircled and attacked by 120,000 Chinese came to an end when they were ordered to get out any way they could. The survivors were later named “The Chosen Few”. Alvin lived to fight another day and while sending his pay home to get his sisters out of the orphanage he asked his girlfriend why were they fighting this war? Verna Virginia Raper replied with a letter that was shown to Alvin’s buddies then others and moved up through the command. It was distributed throughout the front lines to boost moral. Verna’s picture was taken at her downtown job and published in the Oklahoma City news paper for her contributions to the war effort. That was the start of what was to be a 71 year marriage full of adventures starting in a one bedroom garage apartment. Gary and Danny were born at Fort Bragg North Carolina while Alvin received jumpmaster training and Karen, the youngest, followed at Fort Cambell Kentucky.
Alvin’s military career moved him and his family to many exciting destinations includeing Germany twice sailing to Europe on the Alexamder M. Patch, same ship each time. That’s where the family adventures started. Nearly ever weekend was filled with trips to exotic castles from Neuschwanstein (New swan stein) to the Frankenstein Castle. Trips to Holland, Switzerland, France and just about any historical site in Europe filled the family’s life. Of course Alvin stayed busy capturing all of these adventure with the latest 8 milimeter and Polorid photos and to this day has slides of memory after memory in boxes and photo albums in the hall closet.
Alvin introduced his family to boating and fishing in Tennessee but when his career took him to Tampa Florida, it really took off. Nearly every other weekend was a deep sea fishing expidition catching hundreds of strange creatures that we learned about by looking them up in a pocket edition of all the fish in the sea. As the kids were getting older, water skiing popped up in the family. Everybody had to waterski!
After Alvin spent a year in Viet Nam his career sent the family to Fort Huachuca (Wa-choo-ka) Arizona. That’s when the camping really kicked in with the boating. Any outdoor activity such as hiking, biking, mountain climbing or exploring of any kind was fuel for the fire. Alvin started out with a yellow chevy truck and a camper shell but soon graduated to a full size Dodge motor home! Lake adventures abound from there. Weekend stays at lakes, mountain spots and desert getaways became a way of life. Alvin ended his military career as a Command Sergeant Major in 1973 and moved into the current family home. He worked several years at the Post Office to earn his second retirement and then spent the rest of his days being Uncle and Grampa to a multitude of children doing family activities and festive celebrations at his home. Alvin and Virginia became Ledgendary as Uncle Alvin and Aunt Gin to everyone who knew them.
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