A member of the United States Marine Corps' 51st, first colored battalion, Robert Lee Thomas, was wounded while serving in the Pacific. He'd been severely injured when he'd stepped on a Japanese land mine, while his company was setting up their munitions supply base in early June of 1945. The injury had ended his military career. Although he'd been severely burned, he had also been totally blinded. When he was released from the hospital in early January 1946, he immediately hid away in his bedroom. After a month of his self-imposed isolation, his mother had finally convince him to join the rest of the family. Next, his mother had convinced him to accompany her to church, and he'd reluctantly agreed. It was after this church service, that he'd been introduced to, Miss Jeannette McQueen, his little sister's schoolteacher. Miss McQueen told Robert Lee about herself. She'd told him how much she'd admired him, because of the things that his sister had told her. He was stunned when she'd invited him to dinner the following Sunday afternoon. While Robert Lee had been most appreciative of her dinner invitation, a certain realization immediately checked him. Jeannette was the granddaughter of, Evelyn Callaway, the matriarch of one of the richest and most powerful colored family's in North Carolina. They were very light skinned and highly educated. So, he knew that he could never be anything more to, Miss McQueen, than just a casual acquaintance. Why, because of his very dark skin, and being the son of poor sharecroppers, he knew that he'd be as welcome in that family, as a chicken hawk in a henhouse.
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