5 things to know: Tuesday

5 things to know: Tuesday

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Veteran describes the 'true' meaning of Memorial Day

LUBBOCK, Texas - Memorial Day is not all about grilling out or the start of summer, it is paying respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Michael Bob Starr, a retired Colonel with the U.S. Air Force delivered a speech at the Historic City of Lubbock Cemetery, recognizing the true meaning of this holiday. He said it is about remembering and preserving the memories of lives lost while defending America. Starr also adds it is important to remember the families of those lost ones. 

"Most of us have the luxury of spending one day out of the year remembering the fallen, but there are families that have to spend every single day," Starr said. "I've deployed for 1,100 days since 9-11 and those are the things I thought about while I was deployed. I thought about memorial day celebrations. I thought about small town parades, rodeos and people standing at football games for the national anthem and I'm not talking about the NFL, I'm talking about high school football games throughout West Texas and those are the things that sustain us." 

Patricia Cowan is with the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, an organization dedicated to historic preservation, education, and patriotism. She said it is important the city provides opportunities for everyone to honor these lives. 

"Henderson Chapter started this 16 years ago and nothing was being held out here at the time and they decided it needed to be done," Cowan said.

Every year since, veterans, family members of lost ones, and everyday citizens have been showing their support and appreciation. 


Recipient: Medal of Honor 'something that's greater than any one man'

LUBBOCK, Texas - Gary Beikirch dropped out of college after two years to join the Green Berets in the Vietnam War; he served as a medic, and according to his citation, distinguished himself during the defense of Camp Dak Seang in April 1970. The camp, a strategic point on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, was used by U.S. special forces groups to interdict Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army moving along the path.

Sergeant Beikirch didn't mention the battle at the Second Baptist Church's Memorial Day service Sunday night, but instead emphasized the importance of the honor the Army gave him "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty."

Beikirch received the Congressional Medal of Honor, for "a complete dedication to the welfare of his comrades, at risk of his own life and in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service."

Beikirch was the keynote speaker at Second Baptist Church's Memorial Day service, commemorating the deaths of other service members throughout the years. He said he had to figure out what the Medal of Honor really meant before he could accept it back in '73, and turned to the Bible, citing Psalm 49:20 -- "Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish."

"I represents something that's greater than any one man doing any one thing," Beikirch said. "The Medal of Honor shares a message that there were thousands and millions of men and women who love this country and value this country and are willing to serve this country, so when this medal is worn, it's worn for them."


Stroke survivor cautions it can happen to anyone

LUBBOCK, Texas - Every 40 seconds, one person in the U.S will experience a stroke affecting almost 800,000 people a year. Doctors urge it can happen to anyone at any age. 

For Les Biffle, it was just another normal day in February when he realized something did not feel right while working out.

"It didn't feel like I was sick or anything, it just felt like I was weird," Biffle said. "Eventually I managed to figure it out and I just think they thought  I was being, just not feeling my best, cause they just let me go home. I was finally able to recall I think a few phone numbers and maybe our address because my wife made me recall some things," Biffle said. "She thought something was wrong with me too."

His wife did not quite know what was causing it. It was not until the next day, as he was still struggling with his speech, Biffle went to the ER. 

Neurology Resident Juliana Gomez said when they realized he did not have an infection, they were able to locate the stroke on the left side of his brain which controls the memory and language. 

"When I first saw him he was not able to follow any commands for me, only able to say yes or no," Gomez said.

Within 24 hours of being hospitalized, Biffle began the recovery process working with a speech, physical, and occupational therapist. 

Since then, he has continued rehab, working to get both physically and mentally stronger. 


Vendors overcome weather-related obstacles ahead of market season

WOLFFORTH, Texas - Farmers across West Texas are facing several road blocks this season including drought conditions, heavy winds, and a recent hail storm.  Just over a year ago, Wolfforth Farmers Market opened and it is about to be busier than ever but some vendors did not get their products on the table, easily. 

Ethan Carter with E3 Farms had to start from scratch February when a fire completely destroyed his work shed.

"We've gotten the old burnt building taken down, having the new one re built, and we're working on finishing that right now," Carter said. "It's been really dry and really windy. Everything I plant out there, it get's wind blasted, and so far it's just been a ton of water is all we can do about it." 

Ashley Myers with Quail Feather Farms is new to the industry.

"For three years I worked on an organic farm in Northern New Mexico and just this year decided to buy my own farm," Myers said.

Myers said it has been a challenging first year, but is finding ways to make sure her produce sustains these conditions. 

"We use a drip irrigation system, and that helps to conserve water and uses less water than sprinkling, or flooding our fields," Myers said.

Wolfforth Farmers Market is open every Tuesday and Saturday. Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market begins this weekend. 


The Latest: Senior North Korean reportedly heading to US

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korean media say a senior North Korean official is heading to the United States, potentially to participate in preparatory negotiations to set up a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea's Yonhap news said Tuesday it saw the name of Kim Yong Chol on the passengers' list for a flight Tuesday from Beijing to Washington. They later reported that Kim changed his flight to go to New York on Wednesday, but it wasn't clear why. Kim was seen in the Beijing airport Tuesday by Associated Press Television.

The South Korean presidential office couldn't confirm the report.

Kim Yong Chol is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations.

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