West Texas Father Copes with Marine Sons Death in Iraqi War - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/7/03

West Texas Father Copes with Marine Sons Death in Iraqi War

A U.S.Marine from west texas has been killed in Iiraq. Private first class Chad Bales Metcalf of Coahoma died while fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The military has not yet released details of how he was killed. He was serving with a transportation unit and was based at Camp Pendleton, California. Chad Bales metcalf was 20 years old.

While growing up, chad bales spent time in muleshoe. Going to school like a regular kid. There, he will leave family, friends, and many memories behind. "which one is he?" asked Newschannel 11.

"he's right here," said kem bales, chad's father. We were looking at chad's t-ball picture when he was little. "the cutie with the crooked hat?" nc 11 pointed out. "yes. Little smile with the crooked hat," There's not doubt Chad Bales was a cute little boy and a big brother.

A little boy indeed, but played big all his life. "well, his year at muleshoe, he played baseball for the mules. That and football were his two niches. But he really liked baseball," said kem. Kem said chad was all boy. A typical teen. If you don't believe me, you should see his truck. Kem says it's chad's pride and joy. It's a little beaten up, but dents that have a story. "he called me and said 'dad, i've got some bad news' 'what's that Chad?' 'well, I broke the windshield on the pick-up.' 'how bad did you break the windshield Chad?' 'oh, from the top of the bumper all the way back'," recalled kem. Chad was a people person.

He had lots of friends he made while attending muleshoe high his junior year. He's seen here with some of his closest football buds. Chad's number 60. Especially an impression on one 80-year-old woman from Muleshoe. "while he was here, he'd stop by her house from time to time.

She said if she had anything worth putting up or fixing, he'd always stop by and do that kind of thing. She always kept out a plate of cookies. He'd say 'granny, you've got the best cookies i've ever had.' she said she'd try to slip him a 10 or 20, but he'd never take it," kem recalls again. Stories like this make kem proud of his son. But most importantly, an appreciation of cCad's determination to join the <Marines. "he was over there doing what he loved to do," said Kem.

Sadly though, chad's life was cut short before it even began. But with a little bit of paint, Chad's dream can live on in his truck his father plans to rebuild in memory of his son. There will be a memorial service held for chad on sunday at 3 p.m. At the muleshoe high school football field. A memorial fund has been set up for the bales family at the first bank of muleshoe. The address there is 202 s. First st., 79347. You can send condolences to the Bales family in Muleshoe at 402 w. 20th st., 79347.

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