Gilmer and Graham Murdock left the Children’s Home
and joined the Marine Corps in May of 1959 at the early age of 17.
We “joined” in great part due to the local judge in Statesville,
North Carolina, who “encouraged” us to join and personally walked
us down to the local Marine Corps recruiter. Reference was made
to bootlegging … third offense …but nothing was ever proven. Graham
served six years in the Corps, and Gilmer served twenty-two years,
including being a Distinguished Shooter on the Marine Corps’ rifle
team and serving in Vietnam. Both of us traveled the world extensively
while in the Marines.
Graham went on to become successful in the computer and telecommunications
industry. He is now retired and resides in Springfield, Illinois,
with his lovely bride of
thirty-eight years, Ednita. Gilmer and his lovely bride Jo, also
a former Marine officer, have been together for thirty-eight years
and travel around the country in their large motor home doing catastrophic
claims as contract adjusters. Their home base is Carthage, South
Dakota. Both Gilmer and Graham have large families of their own,
in addition to their Home “family.”
If we told you we grew up in an orphanage, would you think differently
about us? If we told you that we knew how smiles are made and how
laughter is created, would you want to know?
Our time growing up with hundreds of other children of similar circumstance
was a blessing that has stayed with us all our lives.
We learned to smile and laugh and hope and accomplish. We learned
the value of earned rewards and the wonderful gift of giving back
manyfold to others, in true need, that which we earned.
Our time growing up was not spent on self-pity or sorrow but was
spent learning of the incredible wonders of this world and the glory
of God. We learned to grow things, save for the future, make dreams
come true through hard work and planning, and to share dreams and
reach out to others. We learned that ownership did not constitute
happiness but that good deeds did. We were taught that a storm was
not to be feared but was a promise of change and growth. We were
taught that inner strength and self-confidence revealed more about
our character than what we wore.
Each child at the Children’s Home was instilled with a quiet determination
and a resolve to do good unto others. We are fiercely independent
and quick to stand beside the weak. We do not tolerate greed and
arrogance, and we hold those in positions to lead to do just that,
and to do so honestly.
You may not know us by name, but you will know us through our firm
actions, our kind deeds, our warm smiles, and our kind, assuring
words. That is what we were taught, and that is what we graciously
Now, if we told you we grew up in an orphanage, would you think
differently about us?