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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of November 6 - 12, 2002


ĎSemper fidelisí

Ten from Class of 2001 
answered call before Sept. 11

Express Staff Writer

One of the aftermaths of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001, on the East Coast is the upswing in successful military recruitment.

But here in the Wood River Valley something remarkable occurred even before the attacks incited a call to arms. Ten graduates of the Wood River High School Class of 2001 joined the U.S. Marines. Lee Dumke, Javier Terrazas, Martin Moya, Carlos Simental, Alfredo Ojeda, Josh Alstrom, Nicholas Stavros, Zac Broadie, Jake Pritchard and Jason Williams are currently on active duty with the Corps.

The Blaine County recruits first spent 13 weeks in boot camp at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. This process involves training in first aid, water survival skills, marksmanship, tactics and other related topics. Training also focuses on customs, traditions and the history of the U.S. Marines.

And as Veterans Day approaches, members of the recruitsí families are pausing to reflect on military service in todayís world.

Sherrie Broadie, Zacís mother, said his enlistment was partially a career move. "Some of it was looking at the future, there are a lot of benefits," she said.

Broadie, who played football and wrestled while at Wood River High School, went to college for one semester. "Lewis & Clark wasnít his thing, it wasnít even a month later that he joined up," his mother said. But the change has not been difficult. "He is a very disciplined person anyway."

Now in Missouri, Broadie earned his Logistic Vehicle Systems qualification last Friday.

"Sometimes he second-guesses his decision, but I tell you what, this kid has got some training," his mother said.

Nicholas Stavrosí mother, Linda, said her son had been planning to join the Marines ever since he was a freshman. After graduation from WRHS he enlisted in July 2001 "He admired the Marines and what they do. Heís quite smitten with them, and is a very proud Marine," she said.

Now a lance corporal, his Military Occupation Specialty is machine gunner. Currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Stavros is going to Okinawa in June on Pacific Float duty, and will be doing desert survival training later at Twentynine Palms, Calif. This past year he trained in Spain with the Spanish Army, and went to Bridgeport, Calif., for mountain training.

"It opens doors for these young men," Linda Stavros said. She said when he came home in uniform for leave earlier this year, people approached him at the airport and thanked him for protecting his country. "I cried. Iím a very proud mother."

She added that her son hopes to go into military intelligence, eventually.

Higinio Simental said his son Carlos, who is in the infantry, is already in Twentynine Palms for desert training. "Heís okay. I like it but sometimes itís hard." Carlos, who has one brother, was born in Wyoming. He spent most of his school years in the Blaine County School system.

Two of the young men, Jake Pritchard and Alfredo Ojeda, are cooks. Lee Dumke, who is stationed at Camp David, Md., is part of the Presidential Guard. Josh Alstrom is in the infantry at Camp Lejeune. Javier Terrazas and Jason Willingham are in Motor Transportation at Camp Pendleton.

So why did these 10 young men join up last year?

"A lot of enlistees just want to go out and set themselves up to be more successful in life." said their recruiter, Staff Sgt. H. J. Rimkus, based in Twin Falls.

They are attracted by the appeals for pride, leadership and discipline, Rimkus said. A person would have to be "a bump on a log" not to take advantage of what the military offers, he added.

Rimkus said there was a flurry of inquiries following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but many of those were from people who were not eligible. An enlistee must be between 17 and 29 years of age, a high school graduate, and medically and legally sound.

The Marines are always on call for service. Deployed by Navy ships, they are often the first to arrive in a crisis. In addition, the Marine Corps is the only branch of the armed services specifically organized with air, land, and sea-based expeditionary fighting capabilities.

"I am damn proud," Sherrie Broadie said. "Iím damn proud of all these guys."



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