ARDMORE, OK -- One Marine is counting his blessings tonight, safely home from combat overseas. Support, encouraging words, and loved ones fill the room at the Immanuel Baptist Church. It’s a drastic difference from lance corporal David Jenkins last seven months.
"It's hard to describe going from 3rd world Iraq, desert, no trees, no grass, to being here, it was great," he says.
The 19-year-old and Plainview graduate returned home to Ardmore at the end of March. While he was stationed in one of the worst parts of Iraq at the time, he and fellow Marines worked to improve the environment for the Iraqis
"While I was in Iraq, it was one of the best years for Al Lambar province,” he says. “It's gone from being called the Wild West, the most violent province to being one of the most peaceful and held up as a model for the rest of Iraq."
Even though he's still in the reserves for the next four years, he's glad to back on American soil spending time with family. His wife Morgan says she's excited to spend quality time with her husband.
"It's pretty nice. Occasionally things get a little crazy. You know, first apartment, but it's nice having him home," she says.
Dennis, his father, says he's proud of all the brave men and women who serve our country, sacrificing their own safety for the freedoms American's enjoy everyday.
"The young men today deserve support, no matter what they think about politics, they deserve our support and our praise for serving," Dennis says.
As this Lance Corporal says he learned valuable skills to use in the future.
"Always show up on time, ahead of time, discipline, and always drive on no matter how hard things are. You can always keep going no matter what."
He plans to attend college, then law school.