Al was born in Logan County, Oklahoma in 1933. He was the son of Fred Green (who was in his 70s at the time) and his much younger mistress, Cleo Draper. For the first few years of his life, he and his sister Geneva lived with Cleo in various rental properties around Guthrie, almost certainly paid for by Fred.
When Al was 8 or 9 he went to live with Cleo's parents Leona and Frank Draper, but not too long afterward Fred and his wife Kate took Al and his older sister in, 'legitimized' them, and changed their last name to Green. Al spoke fondly of "Aunt Kate," as he called Fred's legal wife Kate.
At Fred's death in 1945, he and Geneva were due to inherit all of Fred's property, however Fred's much older grown children contested the will and forced a settlement that gave only a third to them.
Al was sent away to military boarding school in Ponca City (age 12) and while it was apparently not the greatest experience (he ran away from the school at 15) the military did stick with him. At 16 he lied about his age and joined the Army and was sent to Korea. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean Service Medal with 1 Bronze Campaign Star, and the Army Occupation Medal (Japan) during this tour.
After serving his three plus years he took a break from the military but later joined up again, serving in the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper. He earned the Expert (Rifle) badge, the Sharpshooter bar, and his Parachutist badge. He was stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC where he met his future wife Barbara.
He attended Oklahoma State and studied draftmanship and after his second round of Army service became an architect.
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