Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 4, 2013

Supporting the military

November is Military Family Appreciation Month, and local residents talk about the challenges they face

TAHLEQUAH — During wartime, military families may endure nearly as much hardship as their loved ones in the field.

November is Military Family Appreciation Month, and many are reflecting on the sacrifices of those closest to the men and women of the armed services.

A request to readers on Facebook brought some responses from military families about the troubles they endure when their loved one is absent.

Stephani Kaufman Bayhylle said she had been through a pair of deployments with her husband.

“It’s even more difficult I think when the family is not active duty and doesn’t live close to a military post/base,” she wrote. “The support for those families is very minimal. The first deployment is the most difficult because families have no idea what to expect and have to learn new things quickly, for example how tri-care insurance works, who to contact in an emergency, chain of command, and all those military acronyms, too.”

Sommer Thompson-Mabe indicated a son had just entered basic in January, but said the family is adjusting to “the experience of not seeing him all the time or being able to pick up the phone and call anytime.”

Jesse Garrett is a Tahlequah native, 2004 Tahlequah High School graduate, mother of two and wife of a special forces officer. She lives in Colorado Springs, and cites a common discomfort for military families - frequent residential moves.

“His schedule is constantly changing, and that can be trying,” she wrote in an email exchange. “Since we had our boys, it gets harder for me to move, having to start all over again. It is hard for me to wrap my head around that my oldest son was born in Georgia and my second in Colorado, all the while they do not have a state to call home. They are military brats.”

Garrett wrote that her older son, age 3, realizes when his father leaves, but does not understand why; that each deployment presents new challenges; and that she focuses on her husband’s homecomings. However, being an army wife has its benefits.

“I love when he comes home to us,” Garrett wrote. “It makes me appreciate him being home that much more. If he is home for Christmas, he almost always gets two weeks off. We get him all to ourselves. You also make a family within the military. As hard as it is to leave each time we move, we have created so many wonderful friendships - the kind that stay with you.”

Capt. Tanner Garrett, Jesse’s husband, also appreciates his chosen career.

“While there are a lot of sacrifices, seeing my husband happy with his job, truly enjoy what he does, it makes it worthwhile,” Jesse wrote.

Families having difficulties can contact organizations including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars or Blue Star Mothers. Such groups offer support or can provide information about where to find help.

“Mainly, we put together care packages for specific units deployed overseas,” said Billie Walker of Blue Star Mothers. “But we will try to help families whenever there is a need. If there is a family with a member deployed or caring for a wounded warrior, we try to help with school clothes for the children or meals. We don’t do a lot of fundraising. We don’t have to. The people of Tahlequah are generous to us.”

Tony O’Seland, adjutant to Blackfox-Hartness American Legion Post 135, said the Legion offers an array of assistance.

“We offer services in family finance, counseling, placement, education, and almost everything you can think of aside from bills and food,” O’Seland said. “Citizens forget that American Legion is not just for the veterans themselves, but it is a full-service outreach program for the entire military family.”  

Online resources include the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs at www.ok.gov/odva and the American Legion at www.legion.org. A search for “family services” will lead to specific information on the legion site. For information about Blue Star Mothers, call Walker at (918) 458-0469.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014

  • Briggs.jpg Local man hit with assault, burglary charges

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of breaking into a motel room, tying a rope around a man’s neck and stabbing him repeatedly with a syringe.
    Jimmy Dale Briggs Jr., 33, is charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of threatening to perform an act of violence.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy whose mom scolded deputies in trouble again

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 15-year-old theft suspect Monday night after he allegedly assaulted his brother.
    Deputy Kim Novak said authorities were dispatched to a home and ultimately took the teen into custody. While there, they also discovered items that had been reported stolen, including a bed and several tools.
    Novak said the teen is the same boy who has previously been found to be in possession of stolen items.

    April 16, 2014

  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge