A Henryetta father is concerned about his son who was wounded in Iraq

Tuesday, November 9th 2004, 10:29 am
By: News On 6

Action around Fallujah has produced some of the fiercest fighting of the war. A Henryetta soldier is in a hospital in Germany recovering from injuries received in some earlier fighting there.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells went to Henryetta Tuesday to talk to his dad about how he was wounded and when he may come home.

Louie Bookout is one proud dad. His son John is a Sergeant in the Army's First Cavalry Division in Iraq. Last month a rocket propelled grenade hit his tank. "He dropped down inside, another RPG hit the tank and then a pipe bomb hit 'em."

The resulting injuries put John Bookout in the hospital; he's been evacuated to Germany. This is his second combat injury and he hopes it doesn't permanently change his plans. "He's hoping and praying that the Army doesn't give him a medical discharge because he wants to make the Army a career."

This father-son relationship is a close one. They talk on the phone several times a week. The phone bill averages about $300 a month. "When my son needs me he needs me, when he needs to hear daddy's voice he's gonna hear daddy's voice."

Many of his mementos from his life before the Army are still in his bedroom. His letterman's blanket from Dewar High School, his cap and gown from graduation. He was the prom king and has the crown to prove it. He also has prominently displayed the check from the Army guaranteeing his continuing education.

Right now the chief concern is healing up and getting home. Sgt Bookout was to come home on leave this month; they've talked about what they'll do. “What the first thing we do when you come home. He said dad we're going to Red Lobster, that's our hang out."

Not Disney World, Red Lobster. That ought to be worth some free chow.