"I want people to remember, not just those who died but also those who sacrificed their time and gave part of their lives to serve their country," he says.
Doby has a personal inspiration for forming the memorial committee. His brother, Posie R. Doby, died in action at the age of 22 while serving in Italy during World War II.
All three Doby brothers served in the military. Grady and Raymond Doby returned home safely, but Raymond is the only surviving brother of the trio.
"It occurred to me that it has been a long time, and we have done nothing to honor them for their sacrifice," Doby says of the military service by thousands of Moore County residents, their ancestors and children.
That's when he marched down to the Veterans Service Office in Carthage and shared his concern with George Hunt.
Four years later, the memorial has a site on county-owned land on Carriage Oaks Drive at the intersection of U.S. 15-501 and Monroe Street in Carthage.
"It looks real good," he says of the almost complete memorial.
Doby says that all of the work -- ideas, fundraising and persuasion -- came from the committee. Members are Ruby Hendrick, Vernon Garner, Robert Cooke, JoAnn Atkins, Amy Page and Cynthia Brewer.
Already in place are the black granite centerpiece, topped with an American eagle and inscribed with the five military branches, the gray granite wall and the first black granite slabs bearing the names of 148 men killed in action, dating back to World War I. The U.S. flag flies above the monument, flanked by the North Carolina flag and the black and white Prisoner of War flag.
Still to come are the tablets inscribed with the names of 2,160 service men and women living and dead who have lived or still live in Moore County or who have Moore County connections.
The committee collected a $30 fee for every name placed on the non-KIA slabs. No fee was charged for the KIA names.
Completing the scene will be landscaping accented by white flowering cherry trees and shrubbery.
Doby sees the memorial as an on-going project, something to continue through the ages. The design calls for 10 memorial slabs to be erected on each side of the centerpiece, in addition to the KIA monuments. The site presently has three slabs on each side, but space remains for seven more on each side.
Eventually the memorial may run out of slab space. When that happens, Doby has a plan, although he hopes that doesn't happen in his lifetime. Once all the slab space is filled up, names will be inscribed on bricks to be imbedded along the walkway.
"What we have now is just the first phase," Doby says. "It's ongoing. There's room for many more names."
'Still Love Farming'
Going to war was not something Doby and his brothers wanted to do.
Growing up in a farm family, Doby expected to work on the family farm raising tobacco, corn and grain and tending a big garden.
But the Korean Conflict came along, and he was drafted into the Army. He never made it to Korea but served two years, much of it spent in Germany with the 333rd Engineering Utilities Detachment. After his discharge, he served five years in the Army Reserves. He was discharged as a sergeant first class.
Once discharged, Doby happily returned home to the farm, and that's where he's been ever since. He raised pumpkins, tobacco, corn, grain, soybeans and watermelons.
Throughout his farming days, Doby followed conservation practices, something he regards as essential for modern-day farming. In 1982 the Dobys were recipients of the Moore County Conservation Farm Family of the Year Award.
Now retired, Doby has turned management of the farm over to his sons. Tobacco is no longer raised on the Doby farm. Mike Doby raises cows and hay. Donny Doby raises hay, watermelons, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cows and Christmas trees.
"I still love farming and the land. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have been there all these years," he says.
He is proud that both sons are continuing the emphasis on sound conservation principles in farming the land.
Despite his retirement, Doby is still a presence on the farm, helping with sales of pumpkins and Christmas trees directly to the public.
"Christmas trees have been real good. It's something you enjoy, meeting people and talking to folks," he says.
Born near Danville, Va., in 1928, Doby moved with his family to Moore County in 1937. His parents, C.L. and Emma Doby, are deceased, as are two sisters, Thelma Freeman and Josie Sharpe, and both brothers. Two sisters still live here, Vera Pope in Southern Pines and Mabel Horn in Cameron.
The Cameron High School graduate is married to Naomi Fogleman, "a farm girl" from Sanford. In addition to Michael Doby and Donny Doby, they have two daughters, Brenda Doby Griffith of Alpharetta, Ga., and June Doby Hill of Goldsboro, and seven grandchildren.
Doby served 12 years as a member of the Moore Soil and Water Conservation Board of Supervisors. He has also served on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
In the past, he has served as a deacon in the Baptist Church and is now an active member of Ephesus Baptist Church in the White Hill community.
'He Birthed It'
At present, however, his attention is focused on the Veterans Memorial.
He and fellow committee members, with help from the Veterans Office, visited similar memorials in Fayetteville, Montgomery and Lee counties to pick up ideas. Quincy Edgerton of Clinton designed the memorial, and his company, Clinton Marble & Monument Co., is handling the construction work.
Moore County came through with a major contribution by providing land for the memorial and a commitment to maintain the 110-square-foot plot near the wedge formed by U.S. 15-501 and N.C. 24-27 in Carthage. The county has installed lighting, making it possible to illuminate the flags at night.
Ruby Hendrick, committee secretary-treasurer, says the $71,543 collected thus far represents only part of the gifts to the project. Other gifts came in the form of materials: Speer Concrete Inc. donated all of the concrete materials and Royce Edmonds donated the original grading services at the site.
In addition to donations from individuals, the committee received gifts in the form of tickets purchased toward the drawing for a homemade quilt and a homemade birdhouse. Someone else donated a van.
Veterans Service Officer George Hunt calls Doby the father of the memorial movement.
"He birthed it," Hunt says of the concept. Hunt credits Doby as the force behind the idea, the fundraising and the overall effort.
"He's a marvelous example of an American who sees something that needs to be done and then goes ahead and does it. He is a fantastic guy," Hunt says.
'Remember' the Sacrifice
Hunt notes that the Moore County memorial does not distinguish the names on the slabs according to rank or branch of service.
"They're all equal," Hunt says.
Hunt says Doby gives something of a deceptive appearance with his quiet, laid-back style.
"You meet him and you think he's just an old farmer, then you find out he's more like a bulldog," Hunt adds with a laugh.
But the man who was instrumental in developing the memorial says his job is far from done. The committee still needs money, for one thing. Total cost has been estimated at $120,000. And many, many more Moore County men and women have served their country but their names have not been submitted. Even military personnel now serving their country are eligible for inclusion.
Doby says the killed in action are recognized for their sacrifice, but others serving their country prove daily their willingness to make that sacrifice as well.
He has a final word: "I just hope people will go by the memorial and look at it and remember."
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.