In Memory

Martin Douglas Denson - Class Of 1986

Martin Douglas Denson

Martin Douglas Denson

(September 12, 1968 - December 20, 1989)


"The shortest way to glory is to be guided by conscience"

In 1989 the membership of then Tye VFW Post 6873 purchased 4 acres of land on Vapor Trail near Dyess Air Force Base.  This is the site of the new Post home. During construction of the 19,600 square-foot structure, the Post held its monthly membership meetings at a local American Legion Post.  Prior to the grand opening, the members voted unanimously to dedicate and named the new Post home in memory of Army Private First Class Martin D. Denson.

Martin was the only Big Country casualty in Operation Just Cause, the December 1989 invasion of Panama.  Born in Abilene, Denson was a 1986 graduate of Jim Ned High School.  He was serving with the 82nd Airborne Division when he suffered a gunshot wound in the leg while on one of the helicopters leading the attack on enemy forces in Panama.  Denson insisted on getting off the chopper with his fellow soldiers, and was killed by a subsequent mortar barrage before he could be evacuated.  He was buried with full military honors in Elmwood Memorial Park's Field of Honor.  On April 11, 1992 Martin D. Denson VFW Post 6873, was officially opened, with family members of Martin there for the ceremonies. 

Doug was the son of Jerry Eugene Denson and Jane Ann Cole.

Operation Just Cause Panama 20 Dec.1989

Remembering those who fell DEC.20TH 1989 The following is a list of names of U.S. service members killed in Panama while participating in the U.S. military operation "Just Cause" in December 1989: ARMY Staff Sgt. Larry Barnard 3/75th Rangers Hallstead, Pa. Pfc. Roy D. Brown Jr. 3/75th Rangers Buena Park, Calif. Pvt. Vance T. Coats 82nd Airborne Division Great Falls, Mont. Spec. Jerry S. Daves 82nd Airborne. Division Hope Mills,N.C. Sgt. Michael A. Deblois 82nd Airborne Division Dubach, La. Pfc. Martin D. Denson 82nd Airborne Division Abilene,Texas Pfc. William D. Gibbs 7th Infantry Division. Marina, Calif. Spec. Phillip S. Lear 2/75th Rangers Westminster, S.C. Spec. Alejandro Manriquelozano* 82nd Airborne Division Lauderhill, Fla. Pfc. James W. Markwell 1/75th Rangers Cincinnati, Ohio Cpl. Ivan M. Perez 5th Infantry Division Pawtucket, R.I. Pfc. John M. Price 2/75th Rangers Conover, Wis. Pfc. Scott L. Roth 89th Military Police Brigade Killeen, Texas Pvt. Kenneth D. Scott 5th Infantry Division Princeton, W.Va. 1st Lt. John R. Hunter 160th Aviation Victor, Montana CWO2 Wilson B. Owens 160th Aviation Myrtle Beach,S.C. CWO2 Andrew P. Porter 7th Infantry Division Saint Clair, Mich. Pvt. James A. Taber Jr. 82nd Airborne Division Montrose, Colo. NAVY Lt. jg John Connors Special Warfare Group Arlington, Maine BM1 Chris Tilghman Special Warfare Group Kailua, Hawaii ENC Donald McFaul Special Warfare Group Deschutes,Ore. TM2 Issac G. Rodriguez III Special Warfare Group Missouri City, Texas MARINE CORPS Cpl. Garreth C. Isaak 2nd Marine Division home town unknown. All Gave Some,Some Gave All 255 Wounded in action in Operation Just Cause 20 December 1989.

20 DECEMBER 1989,255 WIA,28KIA



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13/04/09 08:09 AM #1    

Stacey Newman (Walker) (1986)

Where I work (Joint Forces Staff College) we continually have Distinguished Visitors and Guest Speakers come in and provide presentations to our students. This past January I was able to attend one of the presentations by Army General Stiner, he was one of the planners for Operation Just Cause. I always wondered if there truly was a good reason behind JUST CAUSE and why Doug had to go down there just to be killed. After listening to GEN Stiner's presentation, seeing photographic footage and all the planning that went into the operation I now understand. Most people do not remember or even know about the atrocities being conducted by the Panamanian president, Manuel Noriega, but I got an inside view...and I understand we had to intervene. Doug was one of the most special people I have ever had the pleasure of calling my friend. I will always miss him, but I understand he had a duty and a calling which he answered with pride, conviction, and honor. HOOAY, Doug! RLTW

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