The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Steve Winch: ID still in Vietnam 2010.08.11

Written by David Green.

steven.winch.jpgBy DAVID GREEN

Texas Tech University associate professor Dr. Brian Nutter thought Steve Winch of Morenci might be surprised to know he’s on display in a military museum in Vietnam.

Steve wasn’t surprised at all. He’s heard the story before.

“I just got back from Khe Sahn, Vietnam,” Dr. Nutter wrote in a letter to the Observer. “I saw a U.S. military ID in a museum there of Stephen C. Winch.”

The identification card lists Steve’s Social Security Number, which also served as his Service Number. A little sleuthing by Dr. Nutter led to Steven Winch in Morenci.

Dr. Nutter wasn’t the first American museum visitor to make an inquiry about Steve. Several others have contacted him in the last year or so.

“It was a surprise to me, too,” Steve said about the first time he heard the story. “I lost my military ID card, probably running away from rockets. Somebody probably found it in a rice paddy.”

Steve said his first nine months in Vietnam, starting in 1970, were spent in the infantry. He said in the latter part of a soldier’s tour, an “easier” job was often assigned and Steve drove a truck for his final five months.

“I think I got shot at more in the truck than in the infantry,” he said.

The Marine base at Khe Sahn was the site of a major battle in 1968, when Steve was still in high school, and the base was closed that year.

Three years later it was reopened to serve as a logistics center for the invasion of Laos. Steve drove supplies from Quang Tri, near the coast, along Highway 9 to Khe Sahn.

Three days before his departure from Vietnam, he was encouraged to stay a little longer.

“They wanted me to go back up there and get my sergeant stripes, but I wanted to go home,” he said.

Dr. Nutter said the museum holding Steve’s ID is an interesting place, with plenty of propaganda showing the Vietnamese view of the conflict.

In addition to the museum, there’s a reproduced bunker and a few static displays, along with a pile of U.S. gear.

“The runway is now a coffee plantation and hard to identify from the ground,” Dr. Nutter wrote.

Steve might get the ID card back in his possession some day, or at least have it removed from display. The people Dr. Nutter traveled with in Vietnam are acquainted with the American ambassador and he thinks it would be worth a try to ask for removal of the card.

Eventually, those phone calls and letters to Steve will come to a halt if the face of that 20-year-old soldier disappears from view in Khe Sahn.

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