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 (150 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.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Knights of Columbus People with Intellectual Disabilities Drive

    12 hours ago
    by

    Maybe you’ve seen them in Tucson and Oro Valley, in front of Fry’s or Safeway, giving away tootsie-rolls. They are […]


    Taking the fear out of Halloween for young kids

    13 hours ago
    by

    Halloween can be a fun time of year, but for infants, toddlers and preschoolers – who often can’t distinguish between […]


    Arizona Trails 2015 Draft Plan Available for Public Comment until November 19

    14 hours ago
    by

    Phoenix – Every five years, the recreational trails staff at Arizona State Parks prepares an information-filled report concerning Arizona’s motorized […]


    Arizona Senator Commits to Land Swap Bill

    October 23rd, 2014
    by

    By Senator John McCain Driving through Superior last week, I saw the boarded-up shops that line its Main Street. I […]


  • Stories Just For You

    Panthers clinch playoff berth with Homecoming win

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The Superior football team may or may not have needed to win last Friday’s Homecoming game against Hayden to reach the State Playoffs.


    SHS Student Council produces and directs a FABULOUS homecoming!

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Last week the Superior Panthers had Hollywood on their minds as they celebrated their homecoming.


    Magma Hotel owner updates Chamber of Commerce; Skeptics, beware – the Magma Hotel is opening soon!

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    On Wednesday, more than 100 business leaders and residents from throughout the community and region attended the monthly chamber luncheon to get an update on the


    Bearcats ready for playoffs after finale win

    October 21st, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News The Ray football team ended its regular season with a road win last Friday night, defeating Arête Prep, 62 – 14.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin