Reference Library – USA – Nebraska
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Environmental technician, gears up in 2016 exercise. Image-U.S. Air Force/ Airman Isaac Johnson
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska The Alaska National Guard s 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction- Civil Support Team will be testing its ability to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threat in the municipality of Anchorage, May 1-3, alongside a multitude of other state Civil Support Teams and local, state and federal agencies. The annual exercise, dubbed Orca 2017, provides an opportunity for multiple agencies to tandemly react to a weapons of mass destruction event. During the exercise, teams will receive several notional CBRN threats within a 24-36 hour window that require rapid reaction and response by the players. This particular training will allow each agency to perfect its role within a weapons of mass destruction event and also sharpen their proficiencies when operating collectively.
Among the agencies who will be participating are: Alaska National Guard s Joint Operations Center, the Guam-based 94th WMD-CST, Nebraska-based 72nd WMD-CST, North Dakota-based 81st WMD-CST, Rhode Island-based 13th WMD-CST, 176th Civil Engineer Squadron, Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Alaska Public Health lab, Anchorage Police Department (SWAT), Anchorage Fire Department (HAZMAT), Palmer Fire Department, Port of Anchorage, Providence Hospital, Alaska Native Hospital, Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility, University of Alaska, Alaska Railroad, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Federal Bureau and Investigation, U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, JBER Counter-Improvised Explosive Device, National Weather Service and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
During a hometown visit to Springfield, Dick Martin was amazed at the veterans memorial etched with hundreds of names but he felt something was missing.
He experienced the same feeling when he looked at a Facebook page containing photos of the Springfield veterans.
My sister called me one day and told me that Springfield had this Facebook site for veterans. I went to it and saw all these pictures of veterans from Springfield, said Martin, who now lives in Colorado.
I was really interested, because many of the veterans were parents of kids I went to school with. I was really curious to learn more about these veterans.
Martin, himself a West Point graduate, wanted to learn about the veterans as people their service to the nation and what became of their lives. Martin expressed that desire to Connie (Irish) Allen of Springfield, who spearheaded the memorial and Facebook effort.
I told Connie it would be nice to know more about these veterans beyond their names and photos, he said. I took on the job of writing short biographies about these military members. I wanted to give them more recognition for serving our nation. As he delved into the project, Martin became even more fascinated at what and who he found along the way. The subject of his research included his father, who had fought during World War II.
I started the project, and it was great fun. I researched about the veterans lives, and I talked to some of their families, he said. Some of the family members, I hadn t talked to in years, or they hadn t talked about (the veteran s service) in years. It was a really enriching experience.
As the project grew, Allen talked to Martin about compiling his stories into a book. The discussion hadn t moved much beyond conversation before tragedy struck. Allen died unexpectedly in August 2015 while traveling in London.
Connie died right before the dedication of the Springfield veterans memorial that she had worked so hard to put together, Martin said. I didn t really know what Connie had wanted for a book (with the biographies), but I decided to put one together. In many ways, it was a tribute to the veterans but also a book in her memory.
The effort received a major boost last May when Martin delivered the address at Springfield s annual Memorial Day ceremony. He ran into Springfield native Laura (Genant) Martin no relation to him who now lives in Sioux City.
We were talking about the book and where to go with it. We talked about how to put it together, Dick said. Laura wanted to take the project on. She was 100 percent behind it. I fed her the biographies, and she really worked hard on what it looks like. She did a really professional job. The final product, which consists of 100 pages featuring around 50 veterans, will be presented to the public at the Springfield Memorial Day service. It will contain all the names on the Springfield Veterans Memorial, along with available pictures of veterans and the completed military biographies.
The book is a hardcover, put together at cost and very professionally done, Martin said. We ve packed everything we can into the 100 pages. The book is divided into sections: World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Mideast wars and National Guard.
With hundreds of Springfield veterans on the memorial, Martin knew he could only do a select few biographies. He focused on his personal connections.
I just started with the parents of people I knew. I went to classmates of mine and some other families, he said. I also told them that anybody can contact me and share their biographies.
Because many of the veterans had died, Dick Martin relied on interviews and information from families. He found a wide range of reactions to his search.
Some families became very emotional. Many of them learned things they didn t know (about the veteran), he said. But then I was so stunned at other families who didn t know much or who really didn t care about their father s or grandfather s time in the service. Each veteran s story was special, but some stood out in particular, Martin said. A Springfield veteran played a key role in the Pacific Theater of World War II, he noted.
Joe Uken was on the (USS) Darter submarine that was off the Leyte Gulf (of the Philippines), Martin said. He was in the Pacific at the end (of the war), when the Japanese wanted to change the momentum and when the American Navy wanted to put (the Japanese) out of business.
The USS Darter was used to find the Japanese fleet in the gulf, Martin said. The submarine sank two Japanese ships before subsequently running aground. In the European theater, Springfield native Ode Odens joined the launch against German troops 40 days after the Normandy invasion. He engaged in fierce fighting through the rest of the campaign. During the Allied advancement across Europe, Odens fought under Gen. George Patton, Martin said.
Ode was with Patton as they ran the Germans across northern Europe and pushed (the Nazis) back to Germany, Martin said. Ode was with one of the forward observer tanks. He was out front looking for the enemy.
Odens biography contains accounts of his many combat experiences. He had two tanks shot out from under him, with none of his men suffering injuries. He was trapped behind enemy lines for several days during the Battle of the Bulge, forced to hide his tanks in haystacks. Odens was part of the rescue of the 101st Airborne at Arnheim in Operation Market Garden. He provided artillery support at the battle for the bridge at Remagen.
In addition, he was among the first Allied troops to liberate a concentration camp. He helped liberate Mittelbau-Dora, a sub-camp of Buchenwald. He faced the gruesome task of using his tanks to move train car-loads of bodies stacked like wood. Odens helped restore civil government in Germany, and he was part of the security force at the Nuremberg trials. He earned the Purple Heart, the Silver Star for Valor and the Bronze Star for Valor.
Odens role continued after the German surrender and end of the war.
He was part of the occupation force and provided security for a number of generals, Martin said. I always thought they should do a movie about (Odens ) story. For another Springfield veteran s biography, a woman talked about a family member who was killed in a Japanese kamikaze attack. Until contacted for the book, the woman hadn t known anything about that wartime incident. She also learned more about other family members who had served in the military. The book features the story of one female veteran, Martin said.
She wanted to serve, and she was a nurse in Korea, he said. She was working with a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit. They were flying out some patients and ran into a jet landing, and she was killed.
The book features one World War I veteran, Dwight Wood, and about a half-dozen biographies each from World War II and Vietnam. Martin found it more difficult to compile stories from Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.
We didn t get a lot of entries from veterans of the more modern wars, he noted. The Internet and social media have played a valuable role in locating more information about veterans, Martin said. He used the sources to cross-check on individuals and the units in which they served.
You can then put things together, he said. By knowing the veteran s story, it becomes very personal. And by learning about the unit, you can put the veteran s service into context.
THE NEXT STEP
The Springfield Veterans Book represents only the beginning, Martin said. He and others are working on an interactive website, which they plan to launch in the near future.
We want (the website) to have a personal feel behind it, he said. People can submit their own biographies, and they can come back and visit (the site). We ll announce more about it when we go online with it.
By learning about the Springfield veterans, Martin hopes all citizens learn more about history and the need for constant vigilance in defending the nation. In that respect, Springfield a small South Dakota town of 800 residents has seen its sons and daughters play an important role that needs to be recognized, he said. The Springfield veterans served in all branches and achieved various ranks, but Martin found a common bond among them.
They went into the military to serve their country, he said. Many of them served briefly, not seeking a military career. When they finished their enlistment, they returned home, often to the farm, and lived normal lives.
Martin hopes to return to Springfield next month for the Memorial Day service. He wants to meet veterans and their families during the ceremony and book distribution.
I think this book will be important to the (veterans ) families. But it s also really been one of the highlights of my life, he said.
I hope people develop an appreciation for what these kids did (during their military service). They fought for us and for democracy.
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Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock knows the reality. One team is in first place in the Big 12. The other is in second.
And when Texas Tech hosts TCU this weekend for a three-game series at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, it can put itself in position for a Big 12 title.
I would think (the game) is more magnified because are going to have a great crowed and we are at home, Tadlock said. Both teams are ranked high and I think for us we really need to focus on continuing to play good baseball each day. But, I know the reality is one is in first and the other one is not and we would love to go out and played well.
It is a Big 12 weekend and it is competitive. You have to show up and earn the right. The No. 8 Red Raiders (34-11, 9-6) and No. 5 the Horned Frogs (30-9, 11-4) begin their three-game series in front of a sold out Rip Griffin Park on Friday night at 7 p.m. (FS1), with Saturday s contest set for a 3 p.m. (ESPNU). The series finale against TCU on Sunday was moved to a 2 p.m. (ESPN2). In two of the last three years, including last season, both Texas Tech and TCU have made the College World Series.
Texas Tech won t have its head coach when the series begins Friday, though. After getting ejected from the game against New Mexico on Tuesday, Tadlock stopped and talked to a security guard for a minute. He then headed outside to look the team bus. It wasn t there. So, Tadlock meandered outside the stadium, which doesn t have locker rooms, and down the third base line where a tent area was set up for fans. The guard approached him again. He had been tossed from the game. He couldn t stick around. So, the two went to the New Mexico ticket office. According to multiple reports, that s where he stayed the rest of the game.
For that meandering, Tadlock was suspended two games. It didn t seem to matter much Wednesday when the Red Raiders put up 27 runs on the Lobos. For his part, Tadlock said before the game he told the team to, Go play baseball that is all you can do. He then went and watched the game from the team bus, which this time did not leave.
It was a lot of fun to watch, Tadlock said of the 27-15 win over New Mexico. I watched from the bus in left field. I had a great seat. I thought they handled it well and I thought they played the game the right way yesterday. Good players wins games.
We did about as much yesterday as we did last weekend, it is just different results. (If) you put together quality at bats it makes coaching a lot easier.
With Tadlock suspended, Ray Hayward will be acting manager Friday night against TCU, while Matt Gardner will handle the pitchers and J-Bob Thomas will handle the hitters. As for the two-game suspension, Tadlock didn t have much to elaborate on.
It was straight by the book, he said. I didn t really talk to (the umpires) a whole lot. What s done is done. We will serve the suspension and move on. It wasn t long, but we respect their decision and we will move on. Tadlock is not the only omission that Tech will have to deal with. Texas Tech could once again be without Davis Martin, who is still listed as day-to-day . If he makes an appearance over the weekend, it would only be a couple of innings at most. Erikson Lanning will get the start. Last Friday, Texas Tech used seven pitchers in a 12-10 loss of Oklahoma State. Lanning only lasted on inning, but Tadlock said after the game that if he had thrown goose eggs he would have left him in much longer.
Steven Gingery will start Saturday and Ryan Shetter on Sunday. Shetter is coming off his best performance of the season, pitching five shutout innings against Oklahoma State.
He had really good fastball command and really established it, Tadlock said. He spun the breaking ball in there when he needed to, but it all started with command and he had last week. He pitched down in the strike zone and attacked hitters. TCU will also be without its No. 1 starter, Jared Janczak, who is expected to miss another week because of shoulder soreness. Janczak, a sophomore right-hander, leads the Horned Frogs in victories at 6-0 and is fourth in the Big 12 in earned-run average at 2.10. He also sat out last weekend against Baylor. The Frogs will use normal Saturday starter Nick Lodolo in Janczak s place on Friday at Lupton Stadium, then use Mitchell Traver on Saturday and Brian Howard on Sunday.
Their starting rotation even with Janczak down will be a handful and they have a beast in the middle of the lineup (Luken Baker) that has caused a lot of problems for Big 12 teams and he creates opportunities for some other guys, Tadlock said. Jim (Schlossnagle) does a great job for them.