June 3, 2009 Edition

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Franks suffers injury in Iraq

U.S. Army Specialist 4th Class Jason Lee Franks, 24, the son of John and Mary Jo Franks of Walnut Ridge and John and Lora Murphy of Washington, was severely injured on May 25 while serving in Iraq. He was flown to Germany then to the National Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, where he underwent 12 hours of intensive surgery for head trauma on May 31.

His parents, John Franks and Lora Murphy, flew to Maryland in time for the surgery and are currently with Franks.

Franks is still in critical condition, but circumstances are looking more favorable than they did originally. Aunt, Debbie Davis, received a report on Tuesday that Franks is now off a respirator and responding to commands.

As with any head injury, it will take considerable time for Franks to heal, according to his grandmother, Marjorie Franks. He is expected to have as many as ten more surgeries.

Though Franks was still in a medically-induced coma, he received a personal visit from President Barak Obama on Monday.

Franks is in his eighth year of military service and his second tour of duty in Iraq. He is in the third generation of Franks to make the military his career. His father and grandfather both retired to Walnut Ridge after completing their military service.

He has a brother, Chris Franks, who resides in Washington and three sisters, Janet and Kim Morris and Amy Dickson, all of Walnut Ridge. Franks is the grandson of Marjorie Franks of Walnut Ridge and the late Eugene Franks and Harold and Sonja Hall of Tacoma, Wash.

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