Brother Mike Dykes has received the highest commendations from top military officials for his work, and now he's written a book about his journey into the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
While Americans are celebrating their freedom this Fourth of July, a Tylertown minister is preparing to make his 22nd trip across the ocean to be with troops in Afghanistan.
Brother Mike Dykes, 62, is on a personal mission to comfort troops who are deployed.
He's received the highest commendations from top military officials for his work, and now he's written a book about his journey into the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dykes is called a morale, wellness, recreation technician. He spends one-on-one time with soldiers, and helps combat troops cope with the environment of war, stress and loneliness.
"If you look at the book there are two soldier boys, personal friends of mine. Thankfully they got to go home without any holes in those uniforms, but some of them are not going to go home like they came," Dykes said. "But if I can keep one from ending their lives in battle stress, when you shed blood there's no way to live easy with that. But if I can help them and get them back the way they come, I've made a difference. We've got a lot of soldiers over there but none to spare."
Dykes is not only concerned about the high military suicide rates but also the availability of jobs when soldiers return home from war.
Dykes leaves for Afghanistan again July 10. His voice cracks and tears well up in his eyes as he says he needs to return to his troops. It's a mission to help get them home safety and heal their mental scars of war.
He will be signing his book Soldiers' Angel on Watch at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Ridgeland Saturday from 2- 4 p.m. You can also purchase his book online through Barnes and Nobel and Amazon.
Friday, August 29 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:05:03 GMT
The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia.More >>
The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia. During Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that DNA evidence found on Janaya's body has come back from the crime lab with a positive match for Garcia's DNA.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:40:25 GMT
Officials continue to search for the man who beat and robbed a woman during a home invasion in Yazoo City on Monday night. According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front doorMore >>
According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front door for a person she thought needed help.
Friday, August 29 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:45:32 GMT
It was a short and simple ceremony on the Biloxi Town Green Friday morning to mark the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. High school students solemnly read the names of those killed by the storm.More >>
A small crowd gathered on the town green in Biloxi on Friday morning for the annual Hurricane Katrina observance. Nine years after the storm, Mayor A.J. Holloway acknowledged the tremendous losses, but also talked about the significant progress that's been made in the years since.More >>