Las Cruces Archives - StoryCorps
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One Vietnam Veteran Recalls The Solemn Duty Of Notifying Families of Lost or Missing Loved Ones

In the 1960s Larry Candelaria went to college through an ROTC program. He graduated as a Commissioned Officer, and in 1970, he was deployed to Vietnam. Larry served as an administrator, and was eventually assigned to be the Chief of the Casualty Branch for the 23rd Infantry Division. 

Lieutenant Colonel Larry Candelaria at the 23rd Infantry Division base in Vietnam. Photo Courtesy of Larry Candelaria.

There, his job was to identify service members who were injured, captured, or killed in the line of duty. As soldiers returned or were lost in the field of battle his team was responsible for notifying families back home of the condition of their loved ones.

Larry came to StoryCorps as part of our Military Voices Initiative, to reflect on his time serving in Vietnam and its lasting impact on his life.

 

Top Photo: Lieutenant Colonel Larry Candelaria and his wife, Connie, at their StoryCorps interview in Las Cruces, New Mexico on March 12, 2020. By Zazil Davis-Vazquez for StoryCorps. 

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired May 27, 2023, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.

Remembering A Marine Who, After Serving His Country, Put Serving Veterans First

After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marine Corporal Josh Dunne worked as an advocate for veterans seeking higher education. He even went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in social work from New Mexico State University, graduating on the same day as his wife, Melanie Dunne.

Photo: Marine Corporal Josh Dunne in his service photo. Courtesy of Melanie Dunne.

Still, he faced his own internal struggles following a service-related traumatic brain injury and severe PTSD. In 2016, while experiencing a mental health crisis, Josh died in an officer-involved shooting.

In 2020, Melanie came to StoryCorps with her sister, Marissa Miranda, to remember what Josh meant to their family and his fellow veterans.

Photo: Melanie Dunne and Marissa Miranda at their StoryCorps interview in Las Cruces, NM on March 13, 2020. By Zazil Davis-Vazquez for StoryCorps.
Top Photo: Melanie Dunne and her husband, Josh, at their graduation from New Mexico State, University. Courtesy of Melanie Dunne.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and you need immediate help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or go here for online chat.

Originally aired May 29, 2021, on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

This interview was recorded in partnership with KRWG as part of StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative.

Gayle and Frank Newby

Gayle Newby and her husband Frank met on a triple blind date. At first Gayle was not impressed with Frank, but as that night wore on, “we talked ourselves right into love and marriage,” and after a three-day courtship, they tied the knot.

Originally aired October 26, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.