The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Generations of Service Continue in Glasgow


Lane Provencher

In honor of all Veterans who served and are serving, the Courier has chosen to tell the stories of Mitch Etchart, age 95, and Lane Provencher, age 18. Etchart served during WWII and locally in the Air Force Reserves. Provencher just graduated Marine Corps Basic Training.

Etchart was born locally in 1921 and attended elementary school at the Tampico School House, where his dad owned and operated a ranch. He then graduated from Glasgow High School in 1938 and attended St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn. for two years. As WWII was developing, Etchart joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program at St. Thomas. The program was designed to augment the military's training program due to a lack of capable military pilot's at the time.

Upon graduating the program, Etchart became a flying instructor where following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he was commissioned into the Army Air Corps as a Fighter Pilot, and went on to train on P38 and P41 fighter jets for over two years. Following training, Etchart's unit was in preparation to deploy to the Pacific Theater of Operations when Japan issued their unconditional surrender. "We graduated pilot training in 1944 and before we went to the Pacific, the "A" bomb was detonated and we were authorized to go home in mid to late 1945," said Etchart.

Etchart said that following his discharge from active duty, the soldiers were allowed to enter the reserve program which he opted to take. Etchart was then appointed the Commander of the Air Force Reserve 9418th Fighter Squadron, stationed locally here at the Glasgow AFB. Etchart would remain in that position until he retired out of the Air Force Reserve.

I caught up with Provencher to talk about his recent induction into the Marines while he was home on "boot leave" following his graduation. This young man is among the youngest generation currently looking to serve their country. Provencher was born in Mesa, Ariz. in 1998 and moved to Fort Peck, Mont. with his family about nine years ago. Provencher attended Glasgow High School and played Red's Baseball, Ice Dawg Hockey, and Scotties Football. In 2016, Provencher graduated from Glasgow High School and shipped that summer to Marine Corps Basic Training at Camp Pendleton in California, graduating the first week of November.

Mitch Etchart

Provencher's motivation for joining was two-fold. First, he would become a fourth-generation Marine, a legacy dating back to WWII, and a point-of-fact in which he showed great pride. Second, he said he was interested in, "getting out to see what else the world has to offer, and to experience different things."

Provencher enlisted as a Military Occupational Specialty Code 3521, Vehicle Mechanic, and from there will go off to Marine Combat Training (MCT) at Camp Pendleton's School of Infantry to learn the skills of a basic riflemen in the Corps. Following his completion of MCT he will head to Camp Johnson on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for Mechanic School.

When asked how it felt to receive his Eagle, Globe and Anchor, the prized symbol of being a Marine, Provencher stated, "It felt emotional. I balled my eyes out... it was the best moment of my life easily."


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