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NMSU plans ceremony to dedicate plaque in memory of Aggie military

A plaque will be dedicated during a ceremony Saturday, Feb. 8, at New Mexico State University that will honor fallen Aggies from conflicts after Vietnam to the present.

A plaque lists the names of NMSU Aggies who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
A plaque at Young Hall on the campus of New Mexico State University honors the memory of Aggies who have lost their lives in the line of military duty. A second plaque will be dedicated Saturday, Feb. 8, that will include the names of seven other people who have died in conflicts since the Vietnam War. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

The new plaque will be added to a plaque first installed in 1988 at Young Hall that lists the names of Aggies who lost their lives in conflicts from the Spanish-American War through Vietnam.

The new plaque will include the names of seven people who lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn. They include: Matthew Stephen Apuan, Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, Thomas Casey, Bruce Evan Hays, Jon Michael Lockey, Israel P. Nuanes and James Heath Pirtle.

The plaque will be possible thanks to the support of the NMSU Army ROTC Alumni Chapter, said Ben Woods, also a supporter of the project. Woods is senior vice president of External Relations and chief of staff at NMSU.

"We want to be sure their names are added to the list of hallowed Aggies," Woods said.

The names and their photographs also will be added to the university's Memorial Tower during Homecoming next fall.

At the Army ROTC Alumni Chapter's annual dinner in February, the seven will be inducted into the group's Honor Company.

"It is a tribute to those people who lost their lives in the line of duty during a period of conflict," said Gary Cataldo, NMSU Army ROTC Alumni Chapter president.

The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Young Hall. The NMSU Army ROTC will present the colors and speakers will make comments. The names of each of the seven will be read aloud. The ceremony is open to the public.

Anyone who has information about any other person who should be included can contact Woods at 575-646-2356 or email him at bwoods@nmsu.edu.