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Veteran creates portraits of fallen soldiers

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Ken Younkin works on a portrait. Ken Younkin works on a portrait.

By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

After a 30 year stint in the military, a Norman man continues to serve his country.

Retired Army reservist Ken Younkin laid down his weapon years ago and picked up a scroll saw.

Younkin is now a member of the Portrait Freedom Project. The nationwide group of more 400 woodcutters carves portraits of fallen soldiers.

"If I couldn't do something for the soldiers themselves, maybe I could do something for the families," Younkin said. "You think about the family and the person you're cutting and wonder what it would have been like to have met them while they were still alive."

Younkin said he'll never forget the first portrait he made of Cpl. Chad Powell. He still has the letter Powell's family sent him.

"They said the little boy saw that and said, ‘That's my Daddy,'" Younkin said. "Five-year-old son, that one, I broke down pretty good on that one."

Younkin said he has made it his personal mission to try to do as many Oklahoma portraits as possible.

"I always felt I needed to do something to give back," Younkin said.

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