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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016