McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


November 11, 2012

McAlester veteran, Dr. Thurman Shuller, a World War II hero



“Your devoted service and the important contribution you have make to the Army to our country is deeply appreciated,” the letter states. 
Looking back, Shuller said “nothing in my background could have predicted that I could rise in the ranks so quickly.
“I had no prior military experience except for one year as a private in the Arkansas National Guard and a few correspondence courses.” 
He said growing up, he had no experience in leadership. 
“I had never been president anything more important than the president of my 4-H club in the eighth grade.” 
And he never had been a team captain, not even an athlete. 
“My greatest virtue was a work ethic acquired on the farm and determination to fulfill my parent’s admonition to ‘do right and work hard,’” he said.
Shuller believes his story is the same as countless young officers who, because of the demands of the rapid expansion of the military force during World War II, were placed into positions of responsibility far above their previous training and experience, and were forced to grow into their jobs.
“I had gone on active duty as 27-year-old first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and was relieved from active in 1946 as a 32-year-old colonel, a much more mature and self-assured man,” Shuller said.
 “It was a treasured opportunity for me and life-changing experience to have served. 
“It’s been a wild ride.” 
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at

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