Veterans’ stories need to be told

By David Stevens: Editor for Freedom New Mexico

I never knew Glen Hubbard Stevens.

My granddad’s little brother died 15 years before I was born.

A newspaper obituary reports Sgt. Stevens was killed in action on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and that’s what’s inspired me to learn more about him.

A real hero among us Stevens’? Imagine that.

Records show my great uncle was a member of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment that first saw combat during the Normandy Invasion. Its mission was to establish defensive positions near the west bank of the Merderet River.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt cited the regiment for “outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy between 6 and 9 June 1944 during the invasion of France,” and so I guess the mission must have been accomplished.

One of my missions this year — the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, in which more than 400,000 Americans lost their lives — is to get to know Glen Hubbard Stevens and share that information with all who share my interest.

But I’d also like to know more about area veterans who have been killed in action.

I know Clovis’ Ruben Rubio died in Vietnam in 1971, but I’ve never seen any of his letters home.

I know Portales’ Paul Miller was killed in the Philippine Islands on April 10, 1942, but I’ve never seen his picture.

I know 45 Quay County residents were killed during World War II, but I don’t know if any of them were high school football stars, or if they could sing or act, or what made them laugh out loud.

And so if you have stories to tell, letters or pictures related to area soldiers, airmen or sailors killed in wartime, I’d like to share them with others through the pages of our newspapers — Clovis News Journal, Portales News-Tribune, Quay County Sun and Cannon Connections.

Contact me through e-mail at dstevens@cnjonline.com or call my cell phone: 575-799-7022.

In the words of a cousin, Mauridell Bennett, who shares my passion for keeping history alive, “This needs to be passed down the generations.”