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A Salute to Heroes Honoring All Who Served A Special Supplement to the Daily Sun News and Sun News Shopper • November 9, 2011

Veterans memorial PAGE 2

Museum PAGE 4

Veteran’s trip PAGE 6

Soldiers’ music PAGE 8

Middle East PAGE 12

returns home PAGE 17

Three decades PAGE 20

front lines in Afghanistan PAGE 22 DAAILY ILY IL Y SU N UN

N EWS NEWS ‘TODAY’S LOCAL NEWS TODAY’

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Veterans memorial to be unveiled in Granger GRANGER — What is said to outshine the impressive 9/11 memorial in Granger, the City of Granger plans to unveil its long

awaited veterans’ memorial this Friday, Nov. 11. In an effort to honor those who have fought for American freedom, the memorial will see “Veterans memorial” next page

drawings courtesy of the City of Granger

Here are two conceptual drawings of the monument planned to be dedicated this Friday in Granger. Plaques to honor veterans from all areas can be purchased through the city and will be placed on the statue’s base as they come in.

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Port of Sunnyside .....................................................................25 Proebstel & Michels, CPA .......................................................13 RDO Equipment Co. ................................................................10 ResCare Home Care .................................................................10 RH Smith Distributing .............................................................14 Smith Funeral Home & Crematory ..........................................13 Speck Motors .............................................................................3 Sun Terrace Assisted Living Community ..................................5 Sunnyside Community Hospital ................................................9 Sunnyside Family Medicine.....................................................10 Sunnyside Physical & Sports Therapy .......................................7 Sunnyside Physical Therapy Services......................................24 Sunnyside School District ........................................................19 Sunnyside Soft Water ...............................................................21 Sunnyside Tire Factory ............................................................18 Tim’s Auto Repair ....................................................................26 Tom Denchel’s Ford Country ...................................................16 Toppenish Nursing & Rehab ......................................................8 Valley Truck Repair ...................................................................5 Wilbur Ellis ..............................................................................21 Yakima Federal Savings & Loan ...............................................6 Yakima Valley Chiropractic .....................................................18

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Veterans memorial continued from page 2

An Eagle Healthcare Facility

stand in the middle of the old theater park in Granger. To dedicate the memorial and honor America’s veterans, a ceremony will be held Friday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. in a park on Main Street and West Second Street in Granger. On Veterans Day, Granger residents will see the culmination of months of hard work and dedication by the city and committee volunteers. In addition, several of the veterans’ names were given to the city by the Granger Historical Society. For more information on the event or to purchase a plaque to honor a veteran, call Granger City Hall at (509) 854-1725.

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A proud eagle sits atop a statue that will sit in Granger’s old theater park. The unveiling event will take place, Friday, Nov. 11, for a Veterans Day celebration.

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NOVEMBER 9, 2011

Sunnyside Museum honors veterans with uniform display If stories could be told by the military uniforms on display at the Sunnyside Museum, one could be certain there would be much we could learn. The uniforms, representing every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, date back as far as WWI. The names of those who once proudly donned them aren’t all known. But the uniforms are part of Sunnyside’s and the nation’s history. In addition to the uniforms, volunteers Liz Martinez, and John and Sally Saras, have placed on display other items donated by community members. There is a New Testament that bears a cover made of steel. The little pocket Bible is believed to have been tucked away in the left pocket of a soldier during WWII. Mr. Saras said there are numerous accounts from the men who fought on the battle lines during the war who were saved by just such a Bible. On display are more than 10 military uniforms. The oldest was worn by C.F. Dorsey during WWI. Saras said Dorsey served in the Army Wolverine Division. The stories that could be shared, if the uniform could speak, are certain to be interesting as wear and tear is clearly visible on that piece of history.

Martinez has taken great pride in the display, having worked endless hours to ensure each uniform is neatly pressed and easily distinguished. Understanding the unique role women played during times of war is not so easy, but the museum has in its possession the WAC uniform worn by Betty George during WWII, as well as a nurse’s cape and a nurse’s dress uniform. George donated her uniform nearly 20 years ago and the nursing wear was only recently donated. The cape’s owner is unknown, said Martinez, but it represents a time in the Yakima Valley when those seeking to serve their country could earn an education at St. Elizabeth Nursing School in Yakima. That education provided them an opportunity to help those who were wounded in battle, whether the nurses traveled overseas to tend the wounded near the battle lines or on U.S. soil. Of the women who chose to serve in such a way was Outlook’s Madelyne Kassebaum, who was a lieutenant in the Navy. Among the other historical artifacts is a crutch that was used by Dr. Hiroshi Furukama. He was born and raised in Sunnyside, and he served in WWII. The injury he sustained, according to Mr. Saras, resulted in Furukama’s dissee “Museum” next page

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Sunnyside Museum volunteer Liz Martinez, after placing on display the Navy nurse’s uniform once worn by Lt. Madelyne Kassebaum, ensures all the uniforms are in proper order.

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Museum continued from page 4

charge from the U.S. Army. Furukama returned home and attended the University of Washington to earn a medical degree. He practiced medicine in Sunnyside most of his remaining life. Although most of the uniforms on display date back to WWII, there is a U.S. Coast Guard uniform on display that is more recent. It was worn by Senior Chief Petty Officer Machinery Technician Kevin Haupt. Although not included in the display case with the uniforms, the museum has a wall hanging that contains the names of SHS students who answered the call of duty and served during WWII, many of whom are well known throughout the community. “These are just a simple way of sharing with the community what some have been willing to do for our country,” said Mr. Saras. The uniforms will remain on display through the remainder of the museum’s season, which will wrap up with an open house on Saturday, Dec. 10. The Sunnyside Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The Dec. 10 open house is an all-day event and Santa will be present. The museum will open again in the spring.

There are 10 military uniforms on display at the Sunnyside Museum, dating back as far as WWI. Some uniforms were donated to the museum without the names of the individuals who wore them.

- Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

These Veterans all live at Sunnyside Sun Terrace. Front row (L-R); Blair Stevens, Frank Shearer, Pearl Taylor. Back row: Armand LaFramboise, Jack jack Moran, Moran, Robert Robert Kelley, Wade Drysdale, Francis Wattenbarger. Not pictured: Edward Henkle, Gary Noonan, Robert Eshelman.

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NOVEMBER 9, 2011

Local veteran’s trip to Washington D.C. tiring, but worth it by Laura Gjovaag

About a month and a half ago, B. Russell Reynolds of Sunnyside boarded a flight in Spokane that took him to Washington D.C. to see the memorials dedicated to his service to the country as a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Reynolds was on an Honor Flight, a service to veterans that was started more than six years ago and has now flown thousands of veterans to see the memorials in Washington D.C. at no cost to the veterans. Honor Flights are short in time and, according to Reynolds, very tiring. Once in Washington D.C., the veterans had only one full day to visit all the memorials on their agenda before flying home. Despite that, it was a trip of a lifetime and one that Reynolds wants other veterans to know about. “We need to get the word out, let them know about it,” Reynolds says. “There isn’t a lot of time left for some of these guys to go. And they should go, it’s free.” WWII and Korea Reynolds enlisted in the Navy on his 17th birthday in 1943 and was at the Farragut, Idaho boot camp within three days. After boot camp he spent eight months at a submarine repair base in San Diego, then was transferred to the largest repair base west of Pearl Harbor, located in Guam. He spent 17 months helping to repair ships that had been damaged in some of the most famous battles of the Pacific war. It was not glamorous work. Reynolds said sometimes a damaged ship would come in with a Japanese suicide bomber still intact because the bombs didn’t go off. They would send in the Japanese prisoners to remove the body of the pilot and the detonation experts to defuse the bombs, then the crews could start to repair the ships. Reynolds was discharged in April 1946, but returned to the Navy for the Korean War in 1950. He was stationed on the USS Epping Forest, a Landing Ship Dock that carried 42 amphibious trucks known as ducks. The Epping Forest also served as a mobile repair base. After three years, Reynolds left the military for good. “I served five years, 10 months and 28

B. Russell Reynolds

days,” says Reynolds. Headed to D.C. Reynolds’ journey to Washington D.C. started when he learned about Honor Flights a couple of years ago from a newspaper article. He submitted an application form to Inland Northwest Honor Flight and was assigned to the September 2011 flight. “They paid for everything,” Reynolds says. “It didn’t cost me a penny.” Reynolds’ Honor Flight was delayed a little during a layover in Las Vegas, and the group got to their Baltimore hotel at 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 24. At 8:30 the same morning they were boarding a bus to Arlington National Cemetery. The whirlwind tour allowed roughly 45 minutes to an hour at each memorial, which was time enough to get pictures and remember. “The World War II Memorial was beautiful,” Reynolds says, “I had to get help to find Kilroy, though. I like that little guy.” Kilroy, a cartoon graffiti figure with the words “Kilroy was here,” appeared in many unexpected places during WWII and

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Veteran’s trip continued from page 6

was incorporated into a slightly hidden spot in the memorial. Reynolds said the weather was good, but it was more humid than he is used to. The Honor Flight Network website (honorflight. org) links to average temperatures in Washington D.C. throughout the year so veterans know what to expect when they arrive. Coming home Reynolds thought the excitement was over after they had finished the tour, but there was more to come. Each veteran was given a good-

The Marine Corps War Memorial (also called the Iwo Jima Memorial). Reynolds was stationed at a repair base in Guam and worked on ships damaged at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

ie bag that included notes from school children, which Reynolds hopes to answer. They also got tshirts to wear during the tour that have information on the flights, so they can act as a walking advertisement for their compatriots who haven’t yet gone to Washington D.C. But the pinnacle of the Honor Flight for Reynolds was the return flight. They were greeted at the Baltimore airport with applause and cheers. Going through Kansas City on the way back, the group was again honored with applause. But when they reached the Spokane airport they found a crowd of about 300 people wait-

ing with a VFW band. “I had not cried since my wife passed away 11 years ago,” says Reynolds. “But I cried then.” More information for Vets Honor Flights from Spokane, provided by Inland Northwest Honor Flight (inwhonorflight. org), happen about once a month except during winter. Applications for flights are always being accepted. The current emphasis is on veterans of WWII and any veteran who has a terminal illness, but veterans from Korea, Vietnam and more current conflicts will be provided flights in the future. Application forms for an Honor Flight can be downloaded at inwhonorflight.org. For more information visit the website, request information at INW Honor Flight, 608 W. 2nd, Ste. 309, Spokane WA 99201-4430 or call (509) 624-0222. The national organization is at honorflight.org and can be contacted at Honor Flight, Inc., 300 E. Auburn Ave., Springfield, OH 45505-4703 or by phone at 937521-2400. Honor Flights are provided free of charge to veterans and are supported by donations and volunteers. - Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@ DailySunNews.com

The changing of the guard ceremony at theTomb of the Unknowns in Washington D.C. The Arlington Cemetery was the first stop on the Honor Flight tour Russell Reynolds took.

The World War II Memorial, Pacific gate. After the WWII Memorial was dedicated in 2004, a doctor who treated veterans realized many of them had no way to visit the memorial and started Honor Flights, free flights to Washington D.C. for veterans.

The Lincoln Memorial, located between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall. Veterans interested in taking an Honor Flight should download an application form at inwhonorflight.org. photos courtesy B.

Russell Reynolds

S U N N Y S I D E

&SPORTS PHYSICAL T H E R A P Y The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was controversial when it was built. It is a scar in the landscape with one side pointing to the Washington Monument and the other to the Lincoln Memorial. The names of all American soldiers killed or missing in action in Vietnam are inscribed on the wall.

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Music for the soldiers’ soul It was all in a day’s work for Technical Sergeant Joseph (Joey) Castilleja, when his Air Force Band ‘Side Winder’ performed for soldiers working the night shift in Afghanistan. Side Winder is part of the 571st Air Force Band, 131st Bomb Wing and Air National Guard. Earlier this year they were deployed as the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band. During their deployment the band was asked to play an impromptu performance for a group of night-shift soldiers. What they didn’t expect, however, was to receive star treatment shortly after the unplanned show. “We went all over Afghanistan and it was moving so fast, at that time we hadn’t checked our email or made calls home,” he said. A young soldier video recorded the group’s acoustic performance of a song by artist Adele, ‘Rolling in the Deep’. He uploaded the video to YouTube and within a few days it received 400,000 hits. Currently, the video has been seen by nearly 2 million viewers. The group finally had a chance to check their email accounts and to their surprise they found their band’s photo as a top news story. “Whoa, that’s us,” Castilleja said in shock and disbelief when he found a photo of his band as a lead news story for its spontaneous show a few days earlier. The news spread like wild fire and before

Castilleja performs an electric guitar solo at 2 a.m. for deployed soldiers on the night crew.

the group of musicians knew it, they were stars. The general purpose of military bands is to carry out concert and marching band performances, ceremonial events and funeral honors. In addition, the nearly 26 Air Force bands break into smaller groups to form jazz, blues, big band, rock bands and the like. “My primary job is as a lead guitar player in Side Winder,” he said. Castilleja’s home unit rock band Wing Span is out of Spokane, but earlier this year he was ant Joey Castilleja asked to deft) and Technical Serge Lynyrd Skynyrd. Captain John Arata (le by d’ Bir ee ‘Fr ploy with the ng so the m (right) perform solos fro Missouri Air

National Guard Band; Side Winder. The group traveled to the Al Udeid air base in Qatar. The group bases themselves in Al Udeid and then travels to deployed regions for ‘troop morale’. Sometimes soldiers are very young, Castilleja says “some are even only 19 years old.” The job for Side Winder was to help soldiers forget some of the terrible sights they’ve seen and to bring them a taste of home. “They are homesick, and they’ve seen and done ridiculous things; our job is to go over there and for a couple of hours make them forget where they are,” he said. “(With our music), we bring them a slice of home.” Castilleja says the primary purpose is to release soldiers from the ‘thousand mile stare’. “Maybe a soldier lost a buddy or saw something horrible; they just stare,” he said. “We go over there and try (to) break the monotony.” While the band was still deployed they were interviewed by the American Forces Network and several other overseas newspapers.

“Also while we were there we were interviewed by Entertainment Tonight,” he said. When the group of soldiers returned home, they received a multitude of media attention. see “Soldiers’ music” page 10

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Side Winder is a branch of the U.S. Air Force Band. The members are pictured here (back row L-R) Captain John Arata, Staff Sergeant Brian Owens, Staff Sergeant Angie Johnson, Technical Sergeant Kevin Maret, Staff Sergeant Toby Callaway, Staff Sergeant Sean Navarro, (front row L-R) Technical Sergeant Joey Castilleja, Staff Sergeant Devin LaRue and Technical Sergeant John Cavanaugh.

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Soldiers’ music continued from page 8

The band was featured on the Ellen seas) I remember what it’s all about,” he DeGeneres Show, Fox and Friends and sev- said. Proud of the work he’s accomplished, eral other St. Louis area news and morning he said, “We are airmen going overseas and shows. While the group finished out their we are supporting (the troops).” tour, the excitement grew. According to Castilleja, his job is just as “It was all that more exciting because the much a part of the fight as combat troops. troops were excited for us, they knew what “The (troops) that are protecting us are was going on back home (in the news),” he real people,” he said. “And we are there to said. recharge their batteries and let them know Castilleja says this was his year of rock we are thinking of them and reminding them stardom, with the occasional fan wanting an of their purpose.” autograph or photo. He has since returned to his Sunnyside home with his wife and three - Amber Schlenker can be contacted at 509-837-4500, children. or email ASchlenker@DailySunNews.com The deployment offered much media attention; however, he says the importance of their job outweighs all other facets of the exciting summer. But according to Castilleja, the music program within the military is in danger of budget cuts. “There (are) a lot of politicians running for high offices right now that are looking at cutting (our) program,” he said. “I’m excited there was (positive light) on what we do, because right now, more than ever, we could really use the support and understanding,” he said. During everyday life, Castilleja says he forgets the purpose of his job. photo courtesy of Joey Castilleja “But when I go back (overCastilleja plays his guitar in Shindand, Afghanistan.

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HONORING OUR

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graphic courtesy Veterans Affairs

In recognition of Veterans Day each Nov. 11, the federal Veterans Affairs office produces a poster to honor the day and those who have served. Above is the national poster for Veterans Day 2011. The national Veterans Day ceremony this year will be at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 with a wreath laying in Arlington National Cemetery, followed by a parade and remarks from dignitaries.

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Sunnyside grad marked three tours of duties in the Middle East “It feels awesome, a huge sense of accomplishment. It’s not one of those jobs were you just do paperwork all day.” That’s how Staff Sergeant Demetrio Montoya, a Sunnyside native, describes three tours of duty in the Middle East in support of the ongoing conflicts there. Montoya’s job during the three yearlong tours with the Army Reserves was as a combat engineer. “It’s the best job in the Army,” he says of the responsibility which focuses on disabling IEDs and targeting those who plant them. “Anything we can recover from an IED gets us closer to who planted it,” says Montoya, who before joining the Army Reserves served four years with the Marines after graduating from Sunnyside High School in 1996. With experience in both the Army and Marines, Montoya said while he initially liked the quick reaction of the Marines, he also appreciates the Army’s more deliberate approach at times. “They’re more worried about safety,” he says. “It’s always on everyone’s mind.” Montoya’s three tours were in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. His most recent tour was Afghanistan which ended in August of this year. He said the U.S. push to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is noticeable. “There’s a big push to hurry up and finish,” Montoya says. “Nation building is the hardest part of fighting there is.” He experienced that truth first-hand, as two soldiers in his company were killed in Iraq three years ago. Even so, Montoya says the experience in Afghanistan this past year was more difficult. “It was more stressful than Iraq,” he said. “It was day in and day out, sun up to sun down, looking for IEDs.” It didn’t help that he and his fellow soldiers had to deal with 135-degree heat and searching for IEDs without a cover unit to keep a lookout for them.

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Throughout each of Demetrio Montoya’s three tours of duty in the Middle East, commanders issued medals to soldiers, like this one he received while disabling IEDs in Iraq.

Montoya’s Bronze Star by the numbers

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Sunnyside native Demetrio Montoya displays the Bronze Star he received at the end of his tour of duty in Afghanistan earlier this summer. Montoya’s mother still lives in Sunnyside and he has a sister who coaches the girls soccer team at SHS. He expressed appreciation for the “teachers and mentors” he encountered at SHS. Montoya now calls Spokane home.

As he stakes out his post-war career in civilian life, Montoya says he’s learned much from his military experience in the Middle East that will serve him well on the home front. “Accountability is a big deal with me,”

One of the pivotal things that happened to Montoya as he neared the end of his tour in Afghanistan this summer was receiving the Bronze Star. Montoya earned the medal through the following during his year in Afghanistan: - Led more than 20 missions with a platoon that had the highest number of IEDs cleared in Afghanistan. - Served as platoon sergeant on more than 60 combat missions, with accountability for equipment valued at more than $15 million. - He and his platoon identified 80 IEDs and conducted more than 4,000 IED interrogations. he says. “If there’s a mistake you need to fess up and fix it.” - John Fannin can be reached at 509-837-4500 or at JFannin@DailySunNews.com

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A People at War Gen. Benjamin O. Davis During World War II, General Benjamin O. Davis was the first African-American general officer in the United States military. Davis served as an inspector for the Inspector General and later as a special investigator with Judge William Hastie for the Secretary of War’s Advisory Committee on Negro Troop Policies. His investigation of discrimination and racial disturbances brought to light the problems of a racially closed military. The Hollywood director Frank Capra called upon Davis to act as a consultant in the filming of The Negro Soldier. The film became required viewing by new troops during the war. Davis frequently represented the War Department at war bond rallies, servicemen’s centers and at numerous civilian plants where African-American workers were engaged in vital war production. His recommendations were often instrumental in relieving the frustrations of segregated soldiers.

The Sullivan Brothers The five Sullivan brothers (Albert, Francis, George, Joseph and Madison) served together as shipmates aboard the cruiser U.S.S. Juneau after requesting special permission from the Secretary of the Navy. The Juneau was sunk on Nov. 13, 1942, off the island of Guadalcanal by Japanese submarine I-26. Of the crew of more than 600 sailors, only 11 survived. Even after hearing rumors of the death of her five sons, Mrs. Sullivan continued to support the war effort President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a personal letter to Mrs. Sullivan expressing his and the nation’s sorrow. For wartime America, the Sullivan brothers became the ultimate symbol of heroic sacrifice.

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Sunnyside Marine returns home After a few quarters at a Seattle community college, he became a car When Rita Uribe can wake up to her salesman. husband at home or ask him to take out “And finally the economy took a turn, the trash, she is thankful. and I needed to find something more staSunnyside native Mark Uribe, 24, en- ble,” he said. listed in the United States Marine Corps With a year of researching each branch in 2008. This past September he returned of the military, Uribe knew he wanted to home from deployment in Afghanistan. become a Marine. “I’ve always wanted to (join the mili“I knew the Marine Corps was for me,” tary),” he said. he added. Uribe says he had a deep desire to enLeaving on a jet plane list straight out of high school. Uribe packed his bags and headed to “But my dad wanted me to pursue boot camp. During his 10-day leave after education,” he added. “Education is im- boot camp, Uribe married his girlfriend portant, but at the time I wanted the thrill of six years, Rita, 24. The next day he of being a Marine.” headed out for Marine combat training. With several family members enlisted Uribe enlisted in the Marine Corps in the military, Uribe felt it important to Reserves and waited patiently until he follow the family tradition. was called to Afghanistan. After years of volunteering for deployments, Uribe thought he would never have his turn to leave the country. For seven months and two days Uribe was deployed in Sangin, Afghanistan, where he served his country as an intelligence analyst. Miles apart but close in the heart When Corporal Uribe was called to deployment, his wife Rita thought it best to pack her bags and move back to the Lower photo courtesy of Mark Uribe Valley. Corporal Uribe (L) stands with an Afghani police officer in see “Returns home” Sangin, Afghanistan during his deployment earlier this year. next page

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Rita and Mark Uribe reunited in September of this year after his seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.

photo courtesy of Mark Uribe photo courtesy of Mark Uribe

An Osprey military aircraft takes off in Sangin, Afghanistan earlier this year.

Deployed soldiers don’t readily have access to the simple things, like hair salons. Pictured here are two Marines giving each other haircuts.

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Returns home continued from page 17

“She was all alone (in Renton), and we have lots of family here,” Mark Uribe said. Though he was thousands of miles away, Rita began the search for a home and made sure he approved. “I would e-mail him pictures and ask,

‘do you like this one’?” she said. Sometimes it took days for Uribe to respond, but finally the two decided on a home. “I even kept him in the loop about furniture,” she added. When it was time to return home, his family was excited; including his wife. “I’ve had a lot of support (through family, friends and other military families) but having him home is great,” she said. Re-adjusting to home Uribe and his wife both have to adjust to the returned Marine. In the military world, personnel are called by their last names alone. When eating out at a restaurant, Uribe was called by his first name, Mark. “My major had photo courtesy of Mark Uribe to get my attention Here are flags at half-mast in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, after and he said, ‘Mark, a casualty of war occurred. that’s you’,” he

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Relatives welcome Corporal Uribe home with hugs, tears and banners. said. But for his wife, the adjustments are of a different nature. “You don’t realize how much you count on (your spouse) for the little things,” Rita Uribe said. “Like going to Costco or taking out the trash.” Home safe Rita Uribe also says it is a relief having her husband home, he is safe and sound. “I had to keep myself busy while he

We thank you, Veterans, for your service yakima valley

Dr. W. Duane Harrington

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was gone so I wouldn’t start thinking the worst,” she said. Corporal Mark Uribe is a six-year contracted Marine reservist. He has nearly five years left of reserve and inactive reserves commitment. After that, he isn’t sure what he will do. All he knows is, “It feels good to be home.” - Amber Schlenker can be contacted at 837-4500, or email ASchlenker@DailySunNews.com

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DAILY SUN NEWS - 19

A People at War The Memphis Belle Early in World War II, the United States 8th Air Force decided to use its heavy bombers in daytime attacks against occupied Europe. The British predicted horrible losses during daylight raids. It was not surprising that the first bomber crew to complete 25 missions would be regarded as heroes. The crew of the B-17 “Memphis Belle” was the first to complete a combat tour. Between Nov. 7, 1942 and May 17, 1943, the crew flew missions ranging from four to almost 10 hours in duration. For these missions Capt. Robert K. Morgan and his crew were awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Memphis Belle and its crew were then returned to the United States on a moralebuilding tour of aircraft plants.

101st Airborne Division

Saluting our

One of the units that spearheaded the Allied assault on D-day and continued to serve throughout the European Campaign was the 101st Airborne Division. Nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles” for their division insignia, they parachuted into Normandy prior to the amphibious landing on June 6, 1944. Although he had never received formal parachute training, Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe volunteered to jump with the first wave, for which action he was recommended for promotion. During the Battle of the Bulge, McAuliffe received the Distinguished Service Medal for leading the epic defense of the town of Bastogne during attack by overwhelming German forces. When asked by the German general to surrender, he responded with the now famous one-word answer, “NUTS!” Bastogne was saved. McAuliffe went on to serve America for many years.

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BEN SARTIN, AGENT “A People at War” is an on-line exhibit of World War II stories produced by the National Archives and Records Administration. Learn more at www.archives.gov.

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Mabton native retires after nearly three decades in the service After 27 years, Mabton native Juan (John) Dominguez decided earlier this summer it was time to retire from service in the U.S. military. A 1982 Mabton High School grad, Dominguez made the decision in 1984 to enlist in the Army. “My mom had passed away in 1983 and I think that was the catalyst that made me think about what I wanted to do with my life,” he recalls. It’s one thing to enlist, quite another to commit nearly three decades of a person’s life to the service. “It was the pride that came along with the job, the camaraderie of all the soldiers,” Dominguez said. “By having those brothers in arms you’re able to bounce things off of each other.” Dominguez served in the infantry during the Gulf War and later as an Army reservist helped lead

the Army’s counter-IED efforts for a year in Iraq during the current war there. “We had upwards to 3,000 vehicles on the roads at night and there were 30 IED attacks (roadside bombs) on the convoy each day,” he said. “When we left in 2009 it was down to one or two attacks a day.” He credits that success to the people on the ground combined with strategies developed in countering IEDs. Dominguez was not injured, though notes one of the bases he was at “got hit with explosions nightly.” After returning from Iraq in 2009, Dominguez continued serving in the Army until this year. The decision to retire, he said, was to give him more time with his wife and four children. “While I was away in Iraq I missed our daughter’s quinceañera,” he said. “We were planning it and I had to leave. It was emotional.” At the time of his retirement

A Salute...

Dominguez had risen to the rank of master sergeant and had earned a chestful of medals. His most prominent awards are a Bronze Star for his work in reducing the rate of IED attacks and a meritorious service medal recognizing his many years of service to the U.S. military. Today he and his family live in the Mt. Vernon area, where he is a staff level manager for Costco. “I manage other supervisors,” Dominguez said. Though civilian life is plenty busy and fulfilling, there’s still a place in his heart for the military. “It’s been bittersweet to say the least,” Dominguez said. “I enjoyed that uptempo pace, the on the edge feeling.” He still maintains connections with the unit he served in prior to his retirement. “The unit I was with is now in Kuwait,” Dominguez said, adding he uses photo courtesy John Dominguez Facebook to keep in touch with 1982 Mabton High School graduate John Dominguez shares a his brothers in arms in Kuwait. moment with his family during a ceremony this past summer honThere’s also still a place in his oring his retirement from the military after 27 years of service. In see “Three decades” page 24 civilian life, Dominguez manages Costco supervisors.

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Thank you to all of our Veterans, those currently serving and those who have served.

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A day on the front lines in Afghanistan

Searching for IEDs took Montoya and his fellow soldiers into areas with poor or nonexistent roads and the result was getting stuck in the muck, as he captured in this photo.

1996 SHS grad Demetrio Montoya served a year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan which wrapped up in August of this year. The pictures on this page are from the sights and experiences during his year of service. It was his third stint in the Middle East.

Sunnyside native Demetrio Montoya and his colleagues were not only responsible for disabling IEDs in Afghanistan, but hunting down where they came from and taking out production sites, like this one.

Home is where you find it, such as nestled between a wall and armored vehicles like these soldiers in Afghanistan.

Local police are also on the scene in Afghanistan to help with security.

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DAILY SUN NEWS - 23

In the midst of war, everyday life must still go on, like this shepherd herding his flock.

photos courtesy Demetrio

Montoya

One of the scenes Montoya captured in Afghanistan was of harvesting poppy seeds. The crop is a sore point in Afghan-U.S. relations because of illegal drugs made from the plant that find their way here.

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Three decades continued from page 20

heart for his Lower Valley roots. As one of 13 children in his family, Dominguez has siblings up and down the valley, from Toppenish to Mabton. “I appreciated it, it gave me a strong work ethic that I still carry with me today and I try to instill it in my kids,” he says of growing up as a farm worker in Mabton. Today he and his family assist migrant workers in the Skagit Valley through an outreach of their church. “When I grew up we used to travel there (Skagit Valley) to work,” Dominguez said. “I show my children where we used to stay there and it makes them appreciate life a little more.” He also hasn’t forgotten friends and classmates from his days at Mabton High. “I’m looking forward to the 30th class reunion next year, revisiting with all my friends,” Dominguez says. - John Fannin can be reached at 837-4500 or at JFannin@ DailySunNews.com

photo courtesy John Dominguez

Mabton native John Dominguez (at right) is pictured earlier this summer receiving his final commendations upon retiring from the U.S. military.

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Veterans

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A People at War Women Who Served Although women were not allowed to participate in battle, they did serve in so-called “noncombat” missions. These missions often proved to be extremely dangerous. In September 1942, Nancy H. Love was appointed commander of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), a branch of the Army Air Force. Love recruited highly skilled and experienced female pilots who were sent

on noncombat missions ferrying planes between factories and AAF installations. While WAFS was being organized, the Army Air Force appointed Jacqueline Cochran as Director of Women’s Flying Training. Cochran’s school, which eventually moved to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, trained 232 women before it ceased operations. Eventually, more than 1,000 women

completed flight training. As the ranks of women pilots serving the AAF swelled, the value of their contribution began to be recognized, and the Air Force took steps to militarize them. As a first step the Air Force renamed their unit from WAFS to Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Though not allowed to fly combat missions, WAFS/WASP pilots served grueling, often dangerous tours of duty.

Ferrying and towing were risky activities and some women pilots were injured or killed in the course of duty. In 1977 after much lobbying of Congress members of WASP finally achieved military active duty status for their service. “A People at War” is an on-line exhibit of World War II stories produced by the National Archives and Records Administration. Learn more at www. archives.gov.

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We salute those who serve

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A Salute to Veterans 2011