Service Members' Families Alerted About Death Notice Hoax

Friday, September 23rd 2011, 8:42 pm
By: News 9

Lisa Monahan, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A military wife received word her husband died in combat only to find out wasn't true.

The Oklahoma National Guard is warning families of servicemen and women in Oklahoma to be on alert.

Lieutenant Colonel Max Moss says Tinker Air Force Base notified the Oklahoma National Guard about a death notification hoax.

Military officials say two men dressed in camouflage approached a Navy wife at her home in Oklahoma City and said her husband died in action.

The husband is actually alive, and now the scam is upsetting more than just the military.

Angela Wilkes is a photographer with Operation Love. The organization gives free photos to soldiers who get deployed.

"They let me into their life by photographing them," she said.

Wilkes feels like each soldier and their family becomes an extended part of her family.

"I get to see the love and the fear and, you know, just everything. It is kind of like a little glimpse into their family and their life and what they are going through."

With 11 fallen soldiers from the 45th Infantry Division, Wilkes is shocked anyone would have the nerve to fake a soldier's death for their own benefit,

"They are already sacrificing so much to support everybody and there are people out there trying to take advantage of them. There are no words it is just disgusting."

Wilkes says she is more determined now to help make military lives a little easier since scam artists are trying to make things more difficult.

"It's going to be a long time before they see their loved one, and the worst-case scenario - somebody doesn't come home," she said.

It is why Wilkes is dedicating her time to capturing the last moments before a soldier gets deployed.

If you or someone you know is getting deployed, you can request the free photo shoot at

Or if you have fallen victim to a bogus death notification, the Oklahoma National Guard is encouraging you to call its office at 405-228-5000.