Marine Corps Pvt. Darrin J. McGee, son of Cheryl T. Benneyt, of Enid, and Patrick L. McGee, of Waukomis, recently completed 12 weeks of basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif.

In addition to a physical conditioning program, McGee spent numerous hours in classroom and field assignments, which included learning first aid, uniform regulations, combat water survival, marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat and assorted weapons training. They performed close order drill and operated as a small infantry unit during field training.

McGee and other recruits also received instruction on the Marine Corps' core values --honor, courage and commitment, and what the core values mean in guiding personal and professional conduct.

McGee and fellow recruits ended the training phase with The Crucible, a 54-hour, team evolution culminating in a ceremony in which recruits are presented the Marine Corps Emblem and addressed as Marines for the first time in their careers.


Navy Seaman Recruit Evan L. Howard, son of Paul L. Howard, of Enid, recently completed Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

During the eight-week program, Howard completed a variety of training, which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations." This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet.

Howard is a 2005 graduate of Kremlin-Hillsdale High School.


SPC Kelly Byrd has been deployed to Camp Phoenix out side of Kabul, Afghanistan with the 53rd Infantry Brigade of Tampa, Florida. Byrd originally joined the guard three years ago in Enid and was with the 1345 Trans Company.

Byrd is a 2002 graduate of Enid High School and has attended college at University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and Edison Community College in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Byrd is an assistant to a lieuteant colonel in civil affairs. She takes photographs and helps coordinate projects involved with fundraising for the Afghanistan people. The projects involve building schools, drilling water wells and getting needed supplies to hospitals. Byrd was deployed on July 14, 2004, and will be deployed for one year.

Byrd is the daughter of Suzie Byrd, Ft. Myers, Fla., and Chuck Byrd, Enid. She is the granddaughter of Mae Bonnet and Pat Senters of Enid.

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