A piece of small town Oklahoma is about to return home after an "artful" stint in the military.
Abby Hardesty teaches art at Tuttle High School, and has a soon-to-be brother-in-law in Oklahoma's 146th Air Support Operation Squadron (ASOS). When she found out he was about to deploy, she enlisted her students' time and skills to send him off properly.
"I wanted to do something that would maybe encourage them," said Hardesty. "Something that they could look at every day."
Hardesty and her students created an American flag with pictures of Tuttle High School students. Her students threw themselves into the week-long project.
"I was glad that we got the chance to do that," said Tuttle sophomore Courtney Lee. Lee helped with the layout of the flag's photos. "And that they the chance to take pictures all around the world with it."
The school presented members of the 146th with the flag back on Veteran's Day, and MSGT Edgar Rodriguez toted the flag all the way to Afghanistan, documenting the flag's journey along the way. The group sent back pictures to Hardesty's class. The flag is seen in transit, waiting at the airport, and with a group of airmen in Afghanistan.
"There's a lot of people in Tuttle that are in the Army and serve the country," said Tuttle senior Kyle Birdwell. "I think it's a good thing that we go out and support them with things like this."
The flag will be returning to Tuttle next month, as Rodriguez and other airmen return home. Hardesty's students are anxious to see it again, although the flag will likely find its new home with the 146th.