Teachers Remember Local Marine

8-23-04 - Family, friends, and former teachers are remembering a Texoma marine killed in Iraq over the weekend.

21 year old Nachez " Chez" Washalanta died Saturday near the Iraqi city of Mosul when his humvee hit a roadside bomb.

At Silo High School Monday, former teachers recalled a shy, quiet student who participated in the school Agriculture program. Washalanta went to Silo for his freshman year, but left school in the middle of his sophomore year.

He joined the Marine Corps in 2002 and came back to visit Ag teacher Kenneth Decker after basic training. He told the teacher he had found a home with the Marines and wanted to make a lifelong career in the military.

Since February, Private Washalanta had been serving his second tour of duty in Iraq and was scheduled to return home next month.

He attended Jefferson Elementary School in Ardmore, where his mother lives. Carol Caldwell says her son will be buried at Gene Autry Cemetery in Ardmore. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday at 2:00 p.m. at the Harvey Douglas Funeral Home.