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July 3, 1997

Ensign Veirs becomes officer

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Nathan J. Veirs of Pecos was among the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Class of
1997 commissioned as Ensigns in New London, Connecticut on May 21.
Spirits were high as the class of 1997 divested themselves of all cadet
trappings with the traditional toss of hats at the 116th academy
commencement ceremony.

Veirs arrived at the academy in July 1993 with 282 other men and women
from all walks of life. During the next four years, this diverse group
was challenged with a fast-paced environment of academics and physical
training which prepared them for leadership roles in the oldest
continuous seagoing service - the U.S. Coast Guard.

Each Ensign's commission begins with the statement: "...reposing special
trust and confidence in the fidelity, patriotism, valor and
abilities..." The commission isn't granted lightly, nor is it must a
reward for past accomplishments. It's an empowerment of authority and
laying of responsibility on each individual for what they will yet do
for what they will yet do for the Coast Guard and the nation.

following graduation, the new Ensigns received a well-earned furlough
before traveling to their shipboard assignments around the world. Veirs
will be stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Durable in St. Petersburg, Florida.

U.S. Naval officer Apodaca arrives in Gulf

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Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph R. Apodaca, a 1995 graduate of
Balmorhea High School, recently arrived in the Persian Gulf to support
U. S.interests and navy operational objectives in the area.

Apodaca is currently on a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific
Ocean aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation, the lead ship of
the USS Constellation Battle Group.

One of the primary goals of the aircraft carrier and its battle group is
to keep the Strait of Hormuz open and provide a contingency response,
ensuring peace and stability. The battle group is also supporting the U.
N. embargo and a number of U. N. resolutions, which are critical in
deterring illegal weapons destined for Iraq.

Aircraft carriers, like the USS Constellation, are forward deployed
around the world to maintain a U. S. presence and provide rapid response
in times of crisis. They serve as a highly visible deterrent to would-be
aggressors and, if deterrence fails, offer the most versatile and
powerful weapons available. The USS Constellation Battle Group can
travel more than 500 miles a day while simultaneously deploying to
separate geographic regions.

Apodaca joined the Navy in December of 1995.

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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