Staff Sgt. Shawn Franks joined the military after being inspired by his uncle. His military career spans almost twenty years and continues today in the Army Reserves.  He currently lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife Luann and their three children, Caleb, Seth and Grace.

In May of 2006, Shawn was deployed with the 1-3-6 MITT Team to Baghdad, Iraq. Sgt. Franks served under the constant threat of IED's and saw his best friend injured after their base was shelled. Thankfully, his friend made a good recovery.

Shawn joined Alabama National Guard in 1991 and served several years with the Winfield National Guard. His missions include assisting with repairs to the Panama Canal and Egypt for three weeks as part of a  Bright Star mission where he also helped build a school for elementary children.

Shawn and his two brothers, Jason and Matt, lost their mother to cancer when he was 15. During his senior year at Winston High School, he met his wife, Luann. While overseas in Iraq, Luann would often receive requests for items to assist the children he'd encountered during his time overseas. 'They stole his heart,' she said.

When not serving his country, Shawn works at Mercedes Benz in Vance, Alabama. Co-Worker and good friend, Keith Adcox said Shawn's nickname his 'Blister' as a result of his strong work ethic. He said Shawn recently approached him about learning how to fish. 'I've been spending a lot of time instructing him and he seems to be a quick learner. I think he'll be off the cork and worms in no time.'

His wife Luann says: "His kind heart, willingness to help ANYONE in need and commitment to country and family is what makes my husband a hero. Being away from home was hard knowing we were waiting for him, but he knew he was protecting us by being there. He's the strongest man I have ever met."

Thank you, Staff Sgt. Franks for your dedication to our city and your willingness to defend our freedoms. May God bless you and your family.

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