Interview with Richard Mundy
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Richard Mundy:
My undergraduate education was interrupted by Selective Service. After the completion of my freshman year I was a premedical student, I never really had considered anything but medicine as a career. And applications for medical school were being processed at the end of the freshman year at that time to determine who was to be drafted and who was to go into the Army medical system, wearing a uniform and going to medical school. I was not admitted because I said I would not join the Army in order to go to medical school. I was a member of the Baptist church at that time. But my mother’s family were Quakers. And that tradition…. my uncles… I had one who was a non - combatant in World War I, was in the Army as a non - combatant. His three brothers all stayed out of the Army. It wasn’t an official recognition of conscientious objector position in World War I, but they did not go to war for reasons of conscience. My uncles were more influence really in my religious and moral development than my father who was called a hard shell Baptist, and he was terribly distressed by my decision. I received support from my mother’s family, but not from my father and his family. It was very difficult. As far as I knew at the time I was the only conscientious objector in Bloomington. I had Friends… we were getting a Friends meeting or sowing the seed of starting a Friends meeting in Bloomington. There hadn’t been one there. And there was also a local chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. So I knew pacifists but most of whom were not of draft age. I also refused to take compulsory ROTC training at Indiana University my freshman year. As far as I know, I was the first male student to take that stand and that created quite a bit of stir in the University. I spent a whole afternoon with a colonel who was the director of ROTC; trying to convince me of the error of my ways. I was trying to convince of the error of his ways. We came to a stand still but won each others’ mutual respect. I emerged from that conference with much higher regard for him as an individual of really great integrity. And I think the feeling was mutual.
From Siuslaw National Forest and Portland State University History Department. "Camp 56: An Oral History Project." p179-83.
For more of the interview see <http://www.ccrh.org/oral/co.pdf>