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Soldier Tribute

February 27th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

The governor and cabinet are paying tribute to an Army Sergeant and his wife who helped rescue a teenage boy in Iraq.

Master Sergeant Dan Hendrex is a 16 year Army veteran who did two tours of duty in Iraq. Hes also the author of A Soldiers Promise, a critically acclaimed book documenting his relationship with a 13-year-old Iraqi boy who received political asylum and now lives in the U.S.

When it was found out that when he had helped us, his family was targeted, he was targeted for death. And so when he lived with us, weeks turned to months and over a four month period is where it became personal. Because at the end of the day, hes still a young boy, 14 years old 13 going on 14 at the time and this is where all the cultural issues start coming in. You get to know him personally, he said.

Hendrex and his wife will be at Florida State University tomorrow to speak with students and receive the Sprit of Pepper award for their humanitarian service. The award is named in honor of the late Florida congressman Claude Pepper, who was a champion of senior citizens and human rights.

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