Home News Local News Heroes banquet honors fallen firefighter, 35 others

Heroes banquet honors fallen firefighter, 35 others

Family members of the late Jeff Stroble accept the “Sacrifice in Service” award on his behalf from Roswell Fire Department Chief Devin Graham Saturday during a Homes for Heroes banquet at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair event building. (Submitted Photo)

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The ninth annual Heroes Banquet organized by the nonprofit Homes for Heroes of Chaves County organization honored 36 veterans and first responders on Saturday at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair event building.

Former U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce of Hobbs, now chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, gave the keynote address to the crowd of about 300, with Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh presenting a welcome.

The theme of the evening was “Sacrifice in Service,” which was also the name of the award given posthumously to Roswell firefighter Jeff Stroble. Stroble passed away at age 46 on July 21 due to injuries sustained during a June 5 fireworks explosion. Roswell Fire Department Chief Devin Graham presented the award to members of Stroble’s family.

Fellow firefighters involved in the incident also were recognized during the evening. These included Hoby Bonham, Matt Miller, Chris Stuart, Jared Olive, Buddy Nutt, Jose Munoz, Tucker Bruns, Kenneth Barncastle, Warren Aldrich, Mark Brackeen and Austin Hensley.

The other honorees were Deputy David Whitzel of the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico State Police Officer Edgar Palomarez, Roswell Police Officer Narciso Santillan, Dexter Police Department Officer Christopher Trujillo, Hagerman Police Department Officer Joe Mason, Roswell Correctional Center Officer Manuel de Palacio, New Mexico Military Institute Police Sgt. Humberto Flores, Dexter Fire and Rescue member Tommy Mireles, Pecos Valley Regional Communications Center Dispatcher Koddi Moreno, Midway Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services Chief Ornell Fuller, Sierra Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Shawn Brink, and three members of the New Mexico National Guard: Master Sgt. Daniel Munoz, 1st Sgt. Rogelio Ybarra and 1st Sgt. Leslie Soto.

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In addition, 10 members of the Veteran’s Honor Guard were recognized. They are John Taylor, Charlie Barela, Felix Sosa, Jake Trujillo, Robert Hazel, Louie Brady, Russ Martinson, Eulailo Contreras, John Stites and Henry Villareal.

Proceeds from the event, which was sponsored by 15 local businesses and organizations, go to Homes for Heroes of Chaves County, which helps homeless veterans and provides veterans with assistance for their home needs, such as appliances, beds and home repairs.

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