State Senator Joe Newhouse says he's been called up to support U.S. military operations in northern Africa.
Newhouse, a Republican, represents Senate District 25 which includes South Tulsa, Bixby, Broken Arrow and Jenks.
Before becoming an Oklahoma senator, Newhouse was a jet pilot in the U.S. Navy with the rank of lieutenant. He was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and flew multiple combat missions in EA-6B Prowlers during the Iraq War. Once he returned home he became a member of the Officer Reserve Corps as a Navy Commander and military advisory to NATO.
“When you are in the reserves, you know there is the possibility that you could be deployed at any time. Although my service in the Senate could have possibly exempted me, I would not want to be treated differently than any other reservist, especially in light of recent terrorist attacks in England, France and around the world,” he said.
Newhouse said he will likely miss the 2018 legislative session but says he will be in contact with his office, fellow members and constituents throughout his deployment.
Newhouse is a member of the Appropriations, General Government, Judiciary and Veterans Affairs committees in the Oklahoma Senate.
Newhouse and his wife, Laura, have four children.