Former resident ‘hometown hero’

Courtesy photo Capt. Louisa Jones, second from the right, is midway through her third deployment in Iraq.

Liliana Castillo

Capt. Louisa Jones hasn’t lived in Portales for nearly 15 years but she still remembers the peanuts.

The single mother of two was one of 50 servicemen and women featured in the “My Hometown Marne Hero” project and is midway through her third deployment to Iraq.

The project conducted 50 hometown interviews within 50 days, ending July 4.

Capt. Heather Guck with the project said Task Force Marne, stationed in northern Iraq, wants to tell American hometowns the stories of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, army civilians and contractors.

Jones, 32, is an Army police officer serving with the 3rd Infantry Division. She was born in Clovis but spent her early years in Portales, where her grandparents Darwin and Estelle Jones still live. She also attended high school in Portales.

She said she comes home for a visit at least once a year. Her grandparents send her Sunland peanuts, peanut patties and jars of flavored peanut butter once a week. Her favorite is honey peanut butter.

Jones’ two children Gabriel, 11, and Sophia, 7, stay with friends and family while Jones is deployed in Iraq.

“If I didn’t have the family support system I have, it would make it really difficult to do what I do,” she said.

Jones spent five months in Iraq on her first deployment to the country in Oct. 2004. She spent 16 months there from Sept. 2006 to Dec. 2007. On her third deployment, Jones arrived in Iraq last fall and will be returning home in the fall.

“It’s been difficult for them. They miss me of course, I’m their mom. But they do extremely well,” she said.

Jones said she is able to video chat with her children every day.

“My oldest, Gabriel, is 11 and he understands more than she (Sophia) does. He understands it’s part of my job. When I’m home, I spend a lot of time with them. It works out,” she said.