Remembering the fallen: Arriaga’s name should be added

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Honoring student who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. John Hernandez | Miner

San Manuel Miner

Monday, May 26, was Memorial Day, a day to remember those brave men and women that went to war and never returned. One such man from the Tri-Community who made the ultimate sacrifice was Tony Arriaga. In the May 19, 1966 issue of the San Manuel Miner, the headline read “ORACLE MAN KILLED IN VIETNAM WAR”. It went on to tell the story how Tony Arriaga when he turned 18 left school early to join the Army. While stationed in Hawaii he met a young woman and fell in love. They were married and had three children. When he was killed, his wife was expecting their fourth child. Tony was the first soldier from the Tri-Community area to be killed in the Vietnam War.

Sgt. Arriaga was killed by small arms fire while on patrol in Hau Nghia Province, South Vietnam. He was 27 years old. Tony was buried in Hawaii where he had found a new life with his wife and children. His name is listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall as being from Waipahu, Hawaii on the Island of Oahu. He had lived in Jerome, Tiger, San Manuel and Oracle. He had attended San Manuel High School but left early. Some of his family members still live in the Tri-Community.

I bring this story up as a reminder to honor those that have given their lives for this country but also to acknowledge that Arriaga’s name is not listed on the memorial plaque at San Manuel High School which recognizes those “students who have given their lives in service of our country”. It is time for his name to be placed on the memorial plaque. He may not have graduated from San Manuel High School but he attended school there and grew up in the area. Let him join his brothers in arms from our community that also made the ultimate sacrifice:

Mark Andrew Bateman – Oracle

Arthur M. Garcia – Mammoth

Johnny M. Garcia – Mammoth

Allen W. Ingram – San Manuel

Norman Garrett – San Manuel

Gary Graves – San Manuel

Another thought on Memorial Day

This Memorial Day should have also been a day to think about those that returned from war. Many of them came back wounded in body and spirit. They deserve to be treated with respect and earned the benefits of their government medical care. The news about the scandal at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Phoenix was alarming. There is also news about how the V.A. hospitals find it easier to prescribe opiates and psychotropic drugs for veterans at a high rate because it is cheaper and easier than providing counseling services for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While this is going on, the Republican legislators are blocking funding for V.A. programs and facilities. Instead of taking action they are turning the problem into a political game instead of fixing it. They should be ashamed!

John Hernandez (308 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Fiesta plans continue for St. Francis of Assisi

    September 1st, 2015
    by

    The Fiestas Patrias of St. Francis of Assisi Church on Main Street take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept.


    Grant Writing 101

    September 1st, 2015
    by

    A handful of lucky people had an opportunity to learn everything you need to know to get started writing grants.


    Juan Cisneros retires from Military Service

    September 1st, 2015
    by

    Copper Area News Former Superior resident Juan J. Cisneros has retired from the United States Army at Ft.


    Former resident coaches championship football team

    September 1st, 2015
    by

    The Las Cruces Kings from New Mexico is a semi-professional football team coached by SMHS graduate Michael Ronquillo.


  • Additional Stories

    Miners’ look to younger players to fill open spots

    September 1st, 2015
    by

    San Manuel Miner Sort of new San Manuel football head coach Dave Jungbluth is counting on a number of underclassmen to fill the void at some key positions after the


    Slump in global economy – layoffs hit local area

    September 1st, 2015
    by

    Sept. 1, the first day of the last quarter of 2015, Copper is selling at $2.31 a pound and 381 mine workers are looking for


    ADOT: No construction closures scheduled along Arizona highways over busy Labor Day Weekend

    September 2nd, 2015
    by

    PHOENIX — As thousands of drivers look ahead to trips to campsites, cabins and beaches, the Arizona Department of Transportation […]


    Work Readiness Seminar Scheduled for CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

    September 1st, 2015
    by

    Pinal County– Central Arizona College will conduct a Work Readiness Seminar on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 at its Superstition Mountain […]


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather