Army 1st Lt. Michael E. Whitted Jr. has returned to the U.S. after being deployed overseas at a forward operating base to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. troops serve in South, Southwest and Central Asia, the Arabian peninsula, the Horn of Africa, islands in the Pacific, and Europe.

Whitted is a company executive officer assigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The first lieutenant is a 2005 graduate of Harker Heights High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009 from Prairie View A&M University. He is the son of Michael Whitted Sr. of Killeen, and Belinda Boyd of Cleveland, Ohio.

Navy Lt. Jessica L. Buford has been accepted and will attend Howard University Medical School, Washington, D.C., beginning in July.

Army Lt. Christina L. Blair, stationed at Fort Hood, is finishing her master’s program by traveling to Prairie View A&M University on the weekends.

Jessica and Christina are the daughters of retired Lt. Col. Annette L. Buford who is working in Kuwait, and granddaughters of Dorothy (Dot) and the late William (Bill) Buford of Killeen.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tanner B. Springer recently reported for duty at Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi. Springer, a 2007 graduate of Holland High School, joined the Navy in June 2007. He is the son of Shirley Springer of Belton.

Marine Corps Pvt. Jose A. Hernandez earned the title of United States Marine after graduating from 13 weeks of recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.

He is a 2012 graduate of Sanderling High School of Brentwood, N. Y.

The Marine is the son of Carmen Hernandez of Killeen, and Jose Hernandez of Bay Shore, N.Y.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Shakiua A. Hayes graduated from eight weeks of basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Hayes is the daughter of Stacy and Matthew Wooten of Killeen.

In the service is compiled from Hometown news releases received from the Armed Forces. For more information, email

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