In the spirit of honoring New Mexico’s military veterans, two PNM linemen recently volunteered their time and expertise to reinforce the gravesites of two local veterans in a graveyard in Veguita, New Mexico. While visiting the gravesites of family members, a PNM lineman noticed two tombstones that were sinking into the ground and close to falling over. After realizing that the sites belonged to two U.S. veterans, one who served in WWI, and the other who served in WWII, he was inspired to help. He spoke to his manager with PNM and enlisted the help of another PNM lineman to help fix the tombstones.
“While the military does provide cemeteries for U.S. veteran’s final place of rest, many prefer to be buried in their hometowns with their families,” said Sonya Lasher, who is the sister of one of the linemen, and also a military veteran.
The linemen asked around the community to see if any family members related to the two veterans was still living in town, but they could not locate anyone. Sometimes, remote community cemeteries often are abandoned or do not have the means to properly maintain the gravesites.
“I am proud to support the initiative of these two linemen,” said Corey Plant, manager for the PNM Line Department. “It’s a small gesture we are pleased to be a part of to honor two men who bravely served our country.”
With equipment provided by PNM, the linemen gently propped up each tombstone, carefully dug around them, and worked to compact the soil around them to help with the strength and stability of the ground. A concrete foundation was poured around each tombstone to help keep it upright, and improve the overall appearance of the sites.
“These two gravesites needed special attention, and we thought it would be a great way to pay tribute to two of our local veterans,” said one of the linemen, who grew up in Veguita. “It’s a small community, and we value family and giving back. It’s just the right thing to do.”
The stabilization and beautification of these two veteran’s gravesites was completed just before Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. The linemen have both chosen to remain anonymous so as not to take the focus away from these two veterans who served our country.
PNM proudly employs 140 veterans, and the company gives back to local military through community volunteerism and awarding grants to military nonprofits. In the past year, PNM employees have volunteered hundreds of hours to various military-related organizations and have provided more than $75,000 in grants to veteran nonprofit affiliations statewide.