WWII infantryman inducted into Wall of Heroes

James Brazell receives a shadow box of his decorations earned during combat in World War II during his induction into the Wall of Heroes May 25 at the Airman Leadership School. Janet Taylor Birkey Perhaps one of the hallmarks of an infantryman who has seen battle, is his easy willingness to admit the fear he […]

Our gratitude to soldiers goes beyond words

Freedom Newspapers They say art imitates life. Perhaps that’s the reason it’s easy to find explanations of why men and women put their lives on the line for their country and their comrades. The season finale of the television show “ER” featured one of the characters being killed by a roadside bomb while he was […]

Courage under fire: Do we have it?

By Curtis Shelburne In his book, “Citizen Soldiers,” author and historian Steven Ambrose tells the story of the pivotal days during and after D-Day in World War II as the Allies landed what would be the decisive blow against the Nazis. Ambrose tells much of the story from the perspective of the soldiers who fought […]

Ira Pottard

Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles. Ira Pottard Date of birth: Aug. 4, 1922 Dates of service: 1942 to 1949 Hometown: Clovis Theater and location of service: China Burma India […]

Reporter’s notebook: National Guard unit comes home for holidays

These soldiers made it home just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. After 14 months spent in the nation’s capital, members of the 1-200th Air Defense Artillery Battalion arrived Wednesday in Fort Bliss, Texas, according to their battalion commander, Lt. Col. Daniel Alvarez. They received a four-day pass to visit their family and friends, he said. […]

Quick, improved trauma care saves lives

Tom Philpott: Military Update GRASSAU, Germany — The survival rate for U.S. service members wounded in Iraq has reached 90 percent, higher than in any previous war, and 10 points higher than in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The major reason, says the general in charge of Army medical training, is improved trauma care being […]

Portales remembers veterans

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Harrie Black and James Kyte bow their heads in prayer at the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars program, “A Tribute to Veterans,” on Friday in commemoration of Veterans Day. (Freedom Newspapers: Leslie Spence) By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers For widows of the men who marched in the Bataan Death March, Friday brought back wonderful memories of […]

President wants more hold on military

Steve Chapman During the Civil War, President Lincoln, exasperated at Gen. George McClellan’s chronic reluctance to attack the enemy, said if the general wasn’t going to use the Army, he would like to borrow it. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush has the same idea. He doesn’t seem to notice that this time, […]

Twelve-year-old’s death a damnable lie

Mona Charen The image has achieved iconic status: 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura crouching behind a concrete barrier next to his father as (presumably) Israeli bullets ricochet around the pair. Moments later, the boy lies dead in his father’s arms. The video dates from September 2000, the start of the Second Intifada, and has become the world’s […]

Portales soldiers cross paths while serving in Iraq

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Portales residents, left to right, Darren Hooker, Walter Carr, Brett Bedinger and James Montgomery pose for a photo while serving in Iraq. (Courtesy photo) By Marc Schoder: Freedom Newspapers Six men from Portales have more than 6,100 miles separating them from home. Though they are serving their country in Iraq, they now have reason to […]

Clovis mom determined to do her part

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Bess Kline displays some of the items she sends to the troops in Iraq. (Staff photo: David Irvin) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer Foot powder, eye drops, soap, sunscreen, candy — so goes Bess Kline’s shopping list. It is somewhat unusual because it is intended for a group of soldiers, stationed outside of Baghdad, […]

Healing difficult for Vietnam veteran

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Tony Romero was working toward becoming a boxing champion when the Vietnam War led to his enlistment in the Marines. He spent 11 months in the jungles of Vietnam before being diagnosed with a case of malaria. (Staff photo: Andrew Chavez) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer Editor’s note: The CNJ is publishing a monthly […]

D-Day anniversary time to remember forgotten fallen

Freedom Newspapers A savage enemy, a dark time of war, a need for hopes and prayers and a fight for liberty and security. While these were the feelings of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II, we could apply some of that atmosphere to modern times, with our soldiers in peril overseas. June 6, […]

Many veterans plagued by war’s demons

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Mavis Elliott, of Clovis, places flowers on the grave of her grandmother Friday at Mission Garden Cemetery in Clovis. Elliott, along with her sister Lula True, also of Clovis, were at the cemetery to place flowers. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer The winter of 1947 was a year of changes […]

Former POW looks back on experience

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CNJ staff photo: Eric KluthDan McKinney, seen here at his home in Clovis, spent 28 months as a P.O.W during the Korean War. By Marlena Hartz Editor’s note: The CNJ is running a monthly series profiling war veterans in the Clovis area. Safe behind the glass door of a TV cabinet sits a wooden chess […]

Clovis grad talks about Iraq

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U.S. Army Capt. Calvin Kroeger talks about his one year combat tour in Iraq with Bravo Company 20th Engineers 1st Calvary Division as he speaks to ROTC students Wednesday at Clovis High School. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Tova Fruchtman: Freedom newspapers TUCUMCARI — Students’ eyes were fixed on the Army captain in his […]

What it’s like preparing for war

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Staff Sgt. Jason Peters explains how to care for an injured soldier during a triage exercise for pre-deployment training Friday at Cannon Air Force Base.(Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — As I walked toward the wounded with a medical bag in hand Friday, I couldn’t help […]

The wounded are casualties of war, too

by Leonard Pitt Jr. Let me tell you about Greg. I met him in 1985, back when I was still a pop music critic. A guy named Paul Hardcastle had a hit that year called “19,” all about the toll the war in Vietnam exacted on a generation of American soldiers. It inspired me to […]

Keeping soldiers after enlistment expires dangerous

Freedom Newspapers Two members of the California National Guard have filed a lawsuit contending the military’s controversial “stop-loss” program, which forces those whose enlistment is about to run out to stay in the military, is illegal when applied to National Guard soldiers. About 40,000 National Guard members are now deployed in Iraq. “John Doe,” identified […]

No draft, but manpower crunch real

by Tom Philpott To ease fears fueled by the Internet that the Bush administration has secret plans to reinstitute a military draft after the Nov. 2 election, House Republicans leaders forced a floor vote on the issue on Tuesday. They watched with satisfaction as colleagues rejected the idea, 402-2. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y, had introduced […]