Hearing loss growing among vets

One summer night outside of Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006, Marine Lance Cpl. David Goldich was manning the gun turret atop a Humvee when a roadside bomb, rigged with a 155 mm artillery shell, detonated beside him. “It knocked out our vehicle commander, blew our fuel tank, shredded our tire,” Goldich recalled. The explosion also punctured […]

Measure could cost commissaries

Jerry Ensminger, a retired Marine Corps master sergeant who has fought for years to win government-funded health care for families exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, doesn’t want the measure passed if, to pay for it, Congress would gut the military’s prized commissary benefit. Critics contend that’s what the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans […]

Area servicemen share Memorial Day thoughts

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Alisa Boswell With Memorial Day approaching May 30, a few Clovis and Portales military and veteran residents decided to share what the holiday means to them and how they honor fallen comrades. Senior Airman Craig McKay of Cannon Air Force Base said while he was in Afghanistan, he witnessed a ceremony in which the body […]

Reduction of forces real concern

Military personnel who seek to extend their careers should stay in shape and stay out of trouble because the armed forces will strive to keep only the best through a post-war drawdown period, warns the new chairman of the House armed services personnel subcommittee. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said his priority will be to improve […]

Clovis-born Marine killed in Afghanistan

Freedom New Mexico Flags were flown at half-staff over the weekend in honor of a Clovis-born Marine sergeant. Sgt. Garrett A. Misener, 25, was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 27. He was born Aug. 19, 1985, in Clovis, and his family moved to Utah a few months later. He was laid to rest Friday […]

TRICARE Prime: Move or lose it

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Retired Navy Corpsman Lloyd Tilch Sr., his wife Debbie and their chronically-ill son Cody pulled up roots last month in Blythe, Calif. They moved into a rented house 110 miles away, near to the Marine Corps base hospital at Twentynine Palms, Calif. The Tilch family had to move — and […]

Soldier home for holidays

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By Gabriel Monte: Freedom Newspapers All Rebecca Blacklock wanted for Christmas was a phone call from her son, Ryan, who was serving a tour in Iraq for eight months. But what stood on her door was better than any gift she could ever receive: A bouquet of roses and Ryan, holding them. Her son, a […]

Widow remembers husband’s heroism

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor A Portales woman still wrestles with demons that had their roots in the Iranian hostage crisis more than a quarter-century ago. Trudy McKeel is the widow of John D. McKeel, a Marine guard at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, one of 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days […]

Nature of war affects medal count

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The changed nature of war — not command indifference or bureaucratic inertia as some critics allege — is likely the reason why only two Medals of Honor have been awarded to U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Marine Corps officer told lawmakers last Wednesday. With remotely detonated bombs […]

McNaughton family shows appreciation to police

By Tonya Garner Local law enforcement members were recognized Monday by the family of Laura McNaughton, the 30-year-old Clovis woman found slain in a ditch last December. The somber-faced group gathered in a conference room on the third floor of the Curry County Courthouse as U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jeff Scofield presented the members of […]

Club Notes, Honors (Dec. 18)

Club Notes East Valley View East Valley View Club met at Golden Acres Center Wednesday for its Christmas luncheon and party. Rose Johns opened the meeting by calling for the minutes and treasurer’s report which were read and approved. Several Christmas poems were read. Helen Jones read the story of Silent Night. Then the group […]

Code talker shares experiences

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By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers San Juan Pueblo resident Jack Jones was once punished for speaking his native language. Transported by the government from his riverside home in Montezuma, Utah, at 7 years old, Jones learned English in a Colorado boarding school. There he was told his name was Jack; he was warned not to […]

Soldier tied to Quay County dies

By TV Hagenah TUCUMCARI — A United States Marine with direct ties to Quay County died in Iraq recently, making him one of the first military personnel with such ties to the county to die in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Staff Sgt. Marvin Best, 33, grandson of Mary E. Daniels of Logan, and the son of […]

Realistic training is the best chance for survival

Ray Sullivan As a Marine combat veteran, I know the best chance of surviving war for any serviceman or woman is to train hard, train realistically and train often. That’s why I support the New Mexico Training Range Initiative to expand the airspace for Cannon Air Force Base and the nearby Melrose Bombing Range. It […]

Muleshoe Marine would have been proud of Saddam’s capture

Mike Linn The capture of Saddam Hussein won’t bring back Kem Bales’ energetic country boy known for his confidence and charm. And it doesn’t make the pain of losing a son to the war in Iraq any easier. But it does bring to fruition everything U.S. Marine Chad Eric Bales fought for and believed in, […]

Rumsfeld orders air, land and marine forces to gulf

Associated Press WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has odered about 62,000 more US troops to head for the Persian Gulf region in coking days, doubling the size of the force now arrayed on the periphery of Iraq, two senior US officials said Saturday. The movements make clear that the Pentagon intends to have sufficient […]