The Norman Transcript

Local news

June 27, 2010

Blas Preciado Jr.

NORMAN — While many Vietnam veterans received a cold homecoming in the midst of a society hostile to war when returning from their service, Blas Preciado Jr. returned to a warm, community welcome from his Kiowa Tribe.

Preciado joined the U.S. Marines at age 19 because he had two brothers already enlisted in the Marines. Soon after joining, he was shipped to Camp Pendleton in California where he received on-the-job training as a warehouse man.

After training, he began his first job at Camp Las Flores. He wasn’t there too long before he received orders to report to an infantry battalion mortar platoon that was about to be deployed to Vietnam.

“I had half a day training on a mortar, was processed and then sent off,” Preciado said, referring to the lack of preparation he entered the war with.

“We were put under fire and we performed,” he said.

Preciado had served in the field for five months when he had the opportunity to go home because one of his brothers had been shipped to Vietnam to serve as well. Preciado said that although what he did was legal, the decision to leave was a difficult one.

“After I left all the trauma of war, I had to deal with guilt,” he said. “It didn’t come without consequences.”

What may have helped him cope was the support he found at home in his Kiowa community.

“Recognition is therapy,” he said. “Indians, including myself, we were recognized by the members of our communities.”

Preciado said powwows were often the common way of celebrating a returned warrior.

Maintaining this sense of honor is something that is near to Preciado’s heart today.

“That sense of self-worth was reinforced by that recognition,” he said.

Preciado began to take an active role in welcoming ceremonies when he was asked to join the Kiowa Black Leggings Society in 1990. The society, which has been in existence more than 200 years is for warriors, Kiowa members with military service.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Solar cars 7 Solar cars use Norman area during pit stop

    Flat, low to the ground with reflective panels and bright colors, these moving vehicles look more like cartoon spaceships than solar race cars. But these funny looking cars represent exactly what the American Solar Challenge (ASC) ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Motorcyclist injured in collision

    A motorcyclist was injured in a collision Tuesday night in Norman....

    July 23, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 1:37 a.m. stolen vehicle, 2100 block of West Brooks Street · 6:27 a.m. larceny report, 200 block of Driftwood Drive · 8:58 a.m. harassment or threats report, 1200 ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Linda Marquez, 36, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, driving a motor vehicle under the influence of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Leaving the scene of an accident

    A Norman woman was charged Tuesday with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury over the weekend in Moore. Linda Marquez, 36, also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014