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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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6/17/2012 12:01:00 AM
Chino Valley mourns fallen soldier
Courtesy image
Barett McNabb appears in the second column of the second row of this page from a mid-’90s Chino Valley High School yearbook.
Courtesy image
Barett McNabb appears in the second column of the second row of this page from a mid-’90s Chino Valley High School yearbook.
Courtesy photo
Barett McNabb, circled, was on Chino Valley High School’s football team in 1995.
Courtesy photo
Barett McNabb, circled, was on Chino Valley High School’s football team in 1995.
By MATT SANTOS
Special to the Courier

As word traveled of local hero Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb's death this past week, Chino Valley residents searched deep for details of their fallen son.

Many struggled to put a history to the photograph that accompanied the news release issued by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office announcing that the 33-year-old had been killed in action in Kandahar on Tuesday, June 12.

After all, it had been more than a decade and a half since McNabb hit the gridiron as a Cougar, playing varsity football for Chino Valley High School in 1995.

"Has it been that long? It's amazing how time flies," said former classmate Kris Mazy as she looked over old CVHS yearbooks this past week. "I remember him as a super-nice guy. When I saw his picture in the paper this week, it was just horrible. He hasn't changed much, except for the mustache."

Mazy recalled meeting McNabb years ago while shooting pool in town with some friends, and as she talked, the memories slowly returned.

"I remember we even went to a school dance together. He was always smiling, always very cheerful," said Mazy. "It's just a horrible loss. It's just such a heartbreak to see some of our alumni lose their lives in this way."

Mazy spent this past Thursday morning driving around Chino Valley making sure businesses were flying flags at half-mast in accordance with Brewer's order.

She said that management at one local restaurant was not planning to do so, but after a quick call to the company's corporate office, that was corrected.

"To me it's just respectful to his family and to mine. They got it fixed right away," Mazy said.

As social media sites spread the word of McNabb's death, many local residents - those who knew him or his family and those who didn't - left comments, condolences and prayers reflecting on the tragic loss of life that hits close to home.

According to an article posted on the Pueblo, Colo., Chieftain website (www.chieftain.com), the small town of Salida, Colo., located approximately 150 miles southwest of Denver and home to just over 5,000 people, also lists McNabb as a hometown son.

Family friend and spokesperson Dr. Arlene Shovald issued a written statement filling in McNabb's timeline since he left Chino Valley.

"Barett was born in Boulder, Colo., Dec. 23, 1978," writes Shovald. "He attended high school in Chino Valley, earned a GED in Denham Springs, La., and an associate of arts degree in Great Bend, Kan. He and his wife, Georgette, were married in Prescott, Ariz., on July 22, 1996. Georgette has a daughter, Jessi, now 25, and together they have a son, Jacob, 15."

Shovald added that McNabb also worked for a Chino Valley construction company until 1999, when he made the decision to enter the service.

"Out of love for his country and a desire to better support his family, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1999," writes Shovald. "He planned to make the Army his career and had been in 13 years. Plans were to retire to Salida after his 20 years were up and work with his father in construction."

Funeral services are scheduled for McNabb's home base of Fort Lewis, Wash.



Matt Santos is a reporter for the Chino Valley Review.






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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012
Article comment by: Cindy C King

Rest in Peace, Barett and Thank You for your Service. May God Bless your Family and Friends.

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Article comment by: spike pinkerton

sleep well sargent,your in good company. thank you.

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Article comment by: just thinking

Rest in Peace Soldier and God give your family peace.

The loss of one dear life this way brings pain, tears and heart ache to the whole Quad City area.

Except maybe our Prescott Valley town leaders that make the VFW continue to battle for the rights they already earned.



Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Article comment by: Prescott Mourns Fallen Soldier, Too

Our hearts are broken. -(

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Article comment by: James Olsen

Just read this sad story and adjusted my flag. Ginger and I offer our thanks to this hero and all those who have come before. To his family we share your pain and loss and hope you know all good citizens stand with you.

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Article comment by: Lee Pulaski

Kudos to Kris Mazy for making sure everyone pays tribute to a fallen soldier, and shame on the restaurant that didn't bring its flag down to where it should be.

One note, however. Half-mast only applies to ships. With flag poles on land, it's half-staff. Figured I should point it out before one of our veterans.


Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Article comment by: James Madison

Rest in Peace, Soldier. You served with honor. "Aliud cecidit bellator."

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Article comment by: Kali Simpson

Thanks to the Courier for printing the Chino Valley Review article about this soldier. We need to pay respect to him and his family. Regardless of what one's views are regarding the American military involvement in Afghanistan, this man paid the ultimate price in service to his country. Men and women in uniform do not have the luxury to question or criticise foreign policy like their civilian neighbors.They follow orders handed down by superiors and politicians because it's their duty and honor to do so. I hope the loss of this local man gives us all pause to look at what we ask of them, and examine our national motives when it comes to how some of America's finest are used. I did not know this man, but I'm honored and moved by his sacrifice and my condolences go out to his family, schoolmates, and friends.



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