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Local senator called up for active duty to Africa; likely to miss 2018 session

State Sen. Joe Newhouse announced on Thursday that he has been called up for active duty overseas (Courtesy of OK State Senate).

State Sen. Joe Newhouse announced on Thursday that he has been called up for active duty overseas.

Newhouse represents Senate District 25, including south Tulsa, Bixby, Jenks and Broken Arrow.

He was a jet pilot in the U.S. Navy with the rank of lieutenant. He flew multiple combat missions during the Iraq War.

After returning to the U.S., Newhouse continued to serve in the Officer Reserve Corps as a Navy Commander and military advisory to NATO.

"When you are in the reserves, you know there is the possibility that you could be deployed at any time. Although my service in the Senate could have possibly exempted me, I would not want to be treated differently than any other reservist -- especially in light of recent terrorist attacks in England, France and around the world," said Newhouse, R-Broken Arrow. "We have to stop these murderous attacks on innocent people, and right now northern Africa is a hotbed for terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, Boko Haram and more."

The Oklahoma senator said he will likely miss the 2018 legislative session due to his deployment, but will remain in contact with his office, fellow members and constituents throughout his deployment. Newhouse said he will return to the Capitol when his tour of duty is complete.

"I want to assure my constituents that my office will continue to be available to them while I am on active duty," he said. "To all who live in District 25, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding, and humbly ask for your prayers for all who are serving in the military and for our families here at home. I am honored to fight for our country and the freedoms we hold dear, and I look forward to returning to my family, friends and loved ones and continuing my service in the Oklahoma State Senate."

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