‘We come here to remember’

By William Thompson: Quay County Sun

- Friends, relatives of deceased veterans gather at Memorial Cemetery to pay respects.

On a sunny Memorial Day in Tucumcari, relatives and friends of deceased veterans came to Tucumcari Memorial Cemetery to pay their respects.

Benny Sandoval drove from Garden City, Kan. The former Tucumcari resident, army specialist, and Vietnam veteran came to place flags on graves of friends who served in Vietnam.

“I come here every year and I always run into friends who are Vietnam veterans,” Sandoval said. “There seem to be fewer each year.”

Sandoval happened to run into longtime friend Zeke Gutierrez at the cemetery. Gutierrez said he was in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam.

“We come here to remember,” Gutierrez said. “It is important to let people know that these men are remembered.”

Gutierrez said Quay County does a good job of remembering its Vietnam veterans, perhaps because so many from Quay County went to Vietnam.

“Just about all the guys in the Tucumcari High School class of 1965 went to Vietnam,” Gutierrez said.

Sisters Martha Waters and Liz Estrada brought their mother, Gladys Adcock, to the cemetery Monday.

They were there to place flowers on the grave of Bill R. Adcock, a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II.

“He didn’t talk much about the war,” Gladys Adcock said of her late husband. “He did say that he was going to be part of the invasion of Japan and his life was probably saved by the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan which ended the war.”

Estrada said she remembers a trip with her father to San Diego.

“He (Adcock) pointed out a ship that was like the ship he was on during the war,” Estrada said. “He didn’t want to talk about it though.”

John and Stella Roybal brought three red roses from a rose bush in their yard to place on the grave of Stella’s father, Andres Sena, a veteran of the Korean conflict.

“He (Sena) didn’t talk about the war,” John Roybal said. “All the relatives tried to get him to talk about it, but he wouldn’t say much.”

“He said they went through some really bad things,” Stella Roybal said of her father. “That was about all he would say.”