Sunday, May 4, 2003

Keeping in Touch with Tristate Military



Martinez called to say everything is OK

Cpl. Matthew P. Martinez, 24, is a 1996 graduate of Glen Este High School. He is the son of Yolanda and Steve Martinez of West Chester.

According to his sister-in-law, Angie Martinez of Anderson Twp.:

"He is in the Marines and serving with the 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Light Armored Recon Battalion out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. He is currently in Iraq serving our country and defending our freedom. He has two loving parents and three brothers in Cincinnati.

"He was married this past Labor Day to a wonderful, loving woman named Maria and they are expecting their first child in June. This war is hard on all his family and friends. It is even more of a burden on his new wife; although she is in California, she is still close to the family.

"He recently called home to say everything is OK and to call his wife to help keep up her spirits. It was a quick call and he could not say where he was.

"Let's remember all of our soldiers who are gone and pray for the families that are waiting for their return.''

Beer: "His duty to protect his family, country''

Army Pfc. Ryan R. Beer, 21, is a 2000 graduate of Anderson High School. He is the son and stepson of Linda Beer-Breeden and Richard Breeden of Anderson Township.

His grandmother, Shirley Brubaker, writes:

"He is a graduate of Anderson High School where he was a student athlete. He attended Morehead State University and enlisted in the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks. He said he feels it is 'his duty to protect his family, his country and to do his part.'

"Ryan is in Iraq fighting with the 101st Airborne Division. Although we do not know his exact location, we are extremely proud of him and at the same time are praying every day for the safe return of our troops. Our neighbors have all supported our armed forces also and joined us in tying yellow ribbons on all of our trees on a portion of Eight Mile Road in Cincinnati.

"We all know how fortunate we are to live in this country and to have individuals like Ryan who volunteered to fight when needed.

"May God bless America and our troops."

Schawe reports that spirits are good

Sgt. Thomas A. Schawe, 24, is a 1997 graduate of Norwood High School. He is the son of Jean Sheafer of Norwood.

His mother writes:

"My son is serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq. He has been in the Army for six years. Tom is based out of Fort Campbell, Ky. He is serving with the 494th Transportation Unit. They drive the trucks with fuel and supplies, and return with POWs.

"He called last week and is doing fine, his spirits are good. Of course his family worries about him and prays for him daily. He has four sisters and one brother who write to him constantly and send him lots of packages to let him know we're there in spirit and we love him. We are all very, very proud of Tom and he has an adorable three-year-old boy, Brian, who misses his daddy very much.

"Tom is an excellent soldier but more than that, he is a wonderful, loving son and terrific brother and father. We're planning a huge party on his return!"

Koehler served also in Desert Storm

Lt. Col. Donald A. Koehler, is a 1981 Moeller High School and a 1985 University of Cincinnati graduate. He is an Air Force Tactical Liaison officer working out of Fort Campbell, Ky, deployed with the Army's 101st Airborne Division in Iraq.

His parents are Frances and Donald E. Koehler of Madisonville. Koehler lives in Pembroke, Ky., with his wife Tina from Reading and their two children.

His mother writes:

"He served in the Desert Storm campaign where he received the Bronze Star and in Bosnia, Somalia, Panama and Afghanistan.

"My husband and I are so very proud of our son and the sacrifices that he has made to keep our country safe. All the men and women of our military forces give up a great deal so that we may all live a life of freedom."

She said they've recently received several e-mails from their son, but don't know exactly where he is in Iraq, and he says he's OK.

Latscha is a disciplined soldier

Pfc. Ryan Latscha, 20, is a resident of Delhi Township and is a 2001 graduate of Oak Hills High School. He is the son of Al and Mary Ann Latscha of Delhi.He was deployed with the Army's 94th Combat Engineers Battalion to Kuwait right after News Year's Day.

His brother Craig of Delhi says:

"At that time, our family had a hint that war was a possibility and Ryan could be in the middle of it. His last letter to us was March 17, two days before the war. We've been in the dark until Ryan called (in middle April).

"His unit is attached to the 3rd Infantry Division and they were located at the Baghdad International Airport when the family heard from Ryan.

"Ryan is a disciplined soldier and his superior assigned him the duty of driving a supply truck from Kuwait to the Baghdad Airport. While driving, the whole division was very uneasy as cars passed them by while fleeing Baghdad. Some suspicious cars were stopped and searched.

"Ryan told his family that at the airport a few mortars landed 200 yards away. He's a radioman and guard and has been on 'recon' missions and helped set Claymore mines. Ryan's family and friends love him dearly. We are proud of all of our troops and remember those who gave their lives for this great country."

E-mail hwilkinson@enquirer.com

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