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.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • 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.

Brandon Correa and Tim Apger still together in Afghanistan 2011.07.13

Written by David Green.

afghan.mine_fieldBy DAVID GREEN

Brandon Correa and Tim Apger were in this thing from the start, and now, four  years later in Afghanistan, there’re still together.

The two made plans to join the Army National Guard when they were still in high school. It was an easy decision.

“I joined the Army National Guard when I was a senior in high school to pay for college expenses,” Correa said. “I chose the Army National Guard because I wanted to attend school and be a civilian while also performing duties as a soldier. If I would’ve gone Active Duty, I would have been away from my family and would not have the chance to take college courses and fulfill civilian life goals.”

He took some classes at Eastern Michigan University before reaching the next stage of his Army life.

Apger remembers his enlistment date: July 11, 2007, between his junior and senior year, and he, also, was looking for financial help with school.

After high school, both completed basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., for five months and were later assigned to the 1776th MP CO out of Taylor, Mich. Their training was for military police work.

After drilling with the Guard unit, orders for active duty arrived in 2010 and both men received mobilization training at Ft. Bliss, Texas, to prepare for assignment in Afghanistan.

That came as no surprise.

“When enlisting I knew 100 percent that I would be deployed,” Apger said. “That’s was the risk of becoming an MP, but that didn’t bother me. It was something I wanted and knew that it would look good on a résumé.”

Now, thousands of miles from home, the two buddies are still in the same company, although serving in different platoons. And they still see one another often.

“For two years we thought the deployment to come was going to consist of convoy security and PTT (police training team),” Apger said. “Now here I am working at the DFIP (detention facility in Parwin).“

His main missions are custody and control of detained personal and to train the Afghan National Army.

He also had the excitement of working with a group of marines on a large escort mission.

Correa has different duties.

“My duties consist of providing security in the northeastern region of Afghanistan,” he explained. “My work day consists of a 12-hour shift, six days a week with varying duties. Some of the positions include guarding a detention facility and QRF (Quick Reaction Force) which is a first response team dedicated to outer perimeter security and counter enemy assault.”

Both expect to return home in October to resume civilian life, along with completing a six-year obligation to the military that will end in December 2013. Neither expects to re-enlist.

“I have accumulated skills and training that will help me in my future profession,” Correa said. “Being a military police has greatly advanced my knowledge with both corrections and police work that I plan on using in my career as a police officer.”

The decision they made back in high school still stands as a good one.

“I am glad that I made the choice to join the Army National Guard,” Correa said. “I’ve come across many opportunities that I would not have received otherwise. I have gained a lot of knowledge and skills and have been many places being a soldier in the Army.”

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