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Willie Perkins: AWOL serviceman
Even a serviceman on leave wasn't immune in the segregated South
Interview outtakes from THE WAR:
"We had a man that went on 30-day leave, came back 6 months later, and they were really getting on him about it and talking about he was going to go to the stockade, and he had hitchhiked and got stopped in Alabama hitchhiking. Got him for vagrancy. And his first sergeant said, ‘Well, why didn’t you call us’?’ And he said, ‘Well, they wouldn’t let me, sergeant.’ He said, ‘Well why didn’t you write?’ He said, ‘They wouldn’t let me’. He said, "I’ve been on road gang, not chain gang, on a road gang’, he says. ‘And I worked my way and did my six months and I came’. He says, ‘Well come on’. You know. But this is the way during the time of state’s rights and whatever. They could do whatever they wanted to do with the servicemen, and nothing could be done about it. And that’s another hurting thing that you can’t go, when somebody feel that they want to take advantage of you, to put you, you know, in, in, in the laundries, in, in, in the prison, or in the jail to wash clothes or put you on a road to clean out ditches, or for whatever menial labor they, they want to use you for. And just use you."