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Douglas folks home for the holidays

Record Courier Staff Reports

Douglas High School graduates Matthew Williams, Jim Welsh and Derek Kepler are all home on leave from the military for the holidays, according to Matthew’s grandmother Carol Jeanblanc.

Matthew, the son of Fish Springs resident Cheryl Gray, is on 10-day leave from Schweinfurt, Germany, where he is stationed with the U.S. Army. He was promoted to specialist in September.

Derek, a U.S. Marine, is home from Japan to visit parents Rich and Debbie Kepler.

The 2003 Douglas High School graduate received a Purple Heart for an injury he suffered in Iraq last year.

Jim is the son of Christine Chavey and is also stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army.

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U.S. Marine Cpl. Russell R. Hall, son of Gardnerville residents Mike and Kathy Hall, was featured in Marine Corps News for his work teaching marksmanship and weapons handling to members of the Iraqi Security Forces.

Russell’s parents moved to Gardnerville in 2003, a year after he graduated from Newbury Park High School in California.

The 21-year-old is serving in Habbaniyah, Iraq, as a wireman in a communications detachment with the 2nd Marine Division Training Center.

In the story written by Staff Sgt. Timothy S. Edwards, Russell is quoted saying he spent the majority of his time teaching Iraqis who will be training their own units.

“When I showed up here, I set up the telecommunications support for the unit. Once the system was set up, it pretty much runs its self. All I have to do is maintain the systems hardware. The Marksmanship Training Unit Marines were looking for help instructing the Iraqi students. It was something I wanted to do and they needed the help, so I volunteered to be an assistant instructor. Soon after, I was teaching class.”

The Halls own a 12-acre alpaca farm on Orchard Road and are members of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Their youngest son, Alex, graduated from Douglas High in June of 2005 and now attends WNCC full time. Alex works part-time for Silver State Roofing Materials in Gardnerville. He is also the author and webmaster of the family Web site http://www.tahoebreezealpacas.com.

Kathy Hall said Russell has visited Carson Valley on leave and plans to return here when his tour of duty in the Marines is up in 2006.

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Lisa Raker is home for the holidays from the Art Institute of California in Orange County.

She made the president’s list for acing her classes last semester. She is a 2004 graduate of Douglas High School and the daughter of John and Marian Raker.

Lisa is studying to be a chef and will receive a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management when she graduates.

I suspect Lisa’s culinary skills may be put to good use during the holiday.

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Douglas County Parks and Recreation Coordinator Keris Meyers-Dahlkamp has been named to the Nevada Commission for National and Community Service.

The non-profit administers eight Americorps programs and the annual Governor’s Points of Lights awards.

The 29-year-old Minden resident recently married Rena Marie Myers in Genoa.

n Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at 782-5121, ext. 215.