Many eastern Oklahoma men and women are serving in the war in Iraq. They sacrifice for their country and their familiesâ€™ sacrifice, having them away in a dangerous place.
News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright met a woman on the crime beat who has a grandson working as a journalist in the war. He grew up in Sand Springs and introduces us to him.
Connie Wallace works in the Tulsa Police Department's computer section and a picture behind her desk gets a lot of attention. Itâ€™s a picture of a soldier's goggles as he escorts Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry to Ramadi.
Her grandson took it. His name is Drew Hendricks and he's a Marine photographer who works in the public affairs office and documents visits from famous faces, like when comedienne Kathy Griffin visited the troops and fellow Okie, Toby Keith. "It was fun to meet a fellow Okie who was famous who really wanted to give back to us military types, so it was nice."
Drew has captured much of Iraq's more beautiful side, sunsets and the brilliant desert sky. He also snaps shots of fellow Americans in Iraq, doing their duty, patrolling and trying to keep Iraqi citizens safe. He says they feel the homefront's appreciation, even half a world away. "Whether they're left or right politically, they care and that's all we care about."
Drew says he's looking forward to getting home to cooler weather, his family and eating at Taco Bueno.
The News on 6 surprised him by having his mother, sister and grandmother in our studio. Drewâ€™s mother Kim: "We love you and miss you and Taco Bueno will be on me. Okay. Love you bubby. Love you too."
Long after Drew is home, his pictures will help people remember the time our men and women were in another world, living in a desert, serving in a war.
Lance Corporal Hendricks should be back in the US in August.