A Tulsa Marine tells his parents about surviving several shootings and explosions in Iraq

Wednesday, November 17th 2004, 10:25 am
By: News On 6

It seems every day since the invasion of Fallujah, the News on 6 has told about soldiers and Marines injured or killed in combat.

Every one of them has someone on the Homefront, waiting for a call, an e-mail or some news their loved one is okay. News on 6 anchor Tami Marler has one Tulsa family's story.

"He'd always hug me every day, and I really miss that." Peggy and Hattie Eubanks are lucky, having a big brother that's generous with the hugs and the smiles. Much has changed since he left for Iraq. "When they went into Fallujah and the seven Marines got killed. He was about 100 yards away when that happened." It's nerve-racking, knowing 19 year-old Andy is risking his life in a country where insurgents are bent on killing him, seeing things no one should have to see.

"He's grown up alot. He's seen things, they strap bombs to dogs and as soon as they get to the humvees they detonate them. They use women and children as shields because they don't care about women and children. That sort of stuff that the general public is really not aware of or they don't want to be aware of it."

One of Andy's best friends was killed in an explosion. Another blast took the leg of a fellow Marine and buried shrapnel in Andy's face. He returned to duty to raid a terrorist hideout. "Two guys from the inside shot through the door, hit Andy in the chest twice. He had a bulletproof vest on. He said it felt like they'd hit him in the chest with a baseball bat. They kicked the door in. It was the group that kidnapped the truck driver and beheaded him. He felt good about that but it was the first encounter he had with taking another person's life."

Andy Eubanks has wanted to be a US Marine for as long as anyone can remember, before anyone knew just how much he'd sacrifice. "Ending our email or when we talk to him we tell him to stay focused, we love you, and do your job and come home safely."

The Eubanks' expect Andy home in January. They haven't had any contact with him in two weeks, but they know from news reports that his unit has been leading the charge in Fallujah.