Dresslerville, Genoa residents honor soldiers
One Carson Valley soldier visited home from Iraq as another prepared to leave for Afghanistan this week.
Family and friends turned out for Dresslerville’s Sgt. Lyle Pete while he was home for the Christmas weekend. Meanwhile, nearly 100 Genoans turned out Monday night to wish Chief Warrant Officer Dan Walters bon voyage as he is deployed to serve with the Nevada Army National Guard next month.
Pete, who is serving with the 1st Cavalry Division, was greeted by his family and a banner when he arrived at Reno-Tahoe Airport from a visit with his girlfriend in Albuquerque.
“Everyone was crying,” Pete’s cousin Ada Johnson said. “They had a banner. They greeted him with the kids.”
He went to Iraq in January from Fort Hood, Texas, after joining the service in 1999 shortly after graduating from Owyhee High School. He attended Douglas High School while he lived here.
“They had a party at the Coyote (Grill) on Friday night and he got to see all the guys he played basketball with,” she said. “On Saturday we had regular Christmas Day.”
Johnson said Pete received a package sent by Dresslerville residents, which included a signed banner.
Pete was quoted in an August Associated Press story about the firefight in Iraq’s Najaf cemetery.
His is the son of Violet Pete of Dresslerville.
Walters, a 38-year-old Chinook helicopter pilot with Company D, 113th Aviation, said he is ready to go overseas.
“It’s the mission we are called to do,” he said. “We’ll do it and then we’ll be back.”
The unit will train at Fort Sill, Okla., before going to Afghanistan, according to a November Associated Press story.
Walters is a 1984 graduate of Douglas High School. He is married to the former Sheri Giovacchini and they have one daughter, 3-year-old Shaylynn.
Walters said he learned of the deployment in October and has been working on the family ranch since then.
“After 9/11 we knew it was not a matter of if, but of when,” he said.
Walters joined the National Guard while he was still in high school and is a warrant officer.
“My dad had to sign for me when I joined,” he said.
He served with the Yerington Guard unit as a scout before going to helicopter school.
Genoans applauded Walters as he took the stage in the Raycraft Town Hall on Monday night, carrying his daughter.
He was interrrupted by applause a few times while he spoke and as he choked up a little while trying to describe his feelings about the people in the room, someone yelled out “God bless you, Dan Walters.”
— Kurt Hildebrand can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 215.