Soldier/photographer with ties to Valley returns home

Sgt. 1st Class Denise Shelton has been in the Army Reserve for 13 years. But before she picked up a weapon to defend our country, she picked up a camera here at WAFF 48 News. Now Shelton's back home in Huntsville.

Denise Shelton worked here at WAFF 48 News for our morning news team. The past ten months, Shelton has combined her two greatest loves. The love for fighting for her country and telling a story.

Shelton is not like every other soldier. She wears the same protective gear and carries the same weapon. But her secondary mission, will tell a story the nation will see. "The result was heart-warming to me, because it was telling someone's story. Somebody back home is getting recognition for the work they were doing in Iraq."

Shelton is now back home in Huntsville. In her hands she holds stacks of tapes. Each one- a different chapter. "I had a great opportunity in Basra, three senators came through, one who is now our president elect. His visit there was purely to have some hands on with the soldiers, for what decisions he may be making in the future."

Shelton works as a broadcaster for the Army, documenting anything from historical events to heartwarming discoveries.

"They had to be shown how to use a toothbrush and toothpaste. There was one soldier that brushes his teeth for or five times. They were so receptive, the kids were just awesome, they would come up and there talking to you. It's amazing how much English they could speak."

Shelton's mission is to become a story teller. She reports what happens in Iraq and sends it to National and Local media for all the world to see.

Shelton says, "It's great for them to call home and say "hey mom I'm going to be on TV" or tell their wife or husband or little girl "hey daddies going to be on television."

A tale for some, but Shelton has seen it and lived it -- first hand.

"Some of the video I can think and reflect on what I went through to get that video. Was it hauling all my equipment on a Black Hawk to get to one place and the next. Was it dealing with all the equipment and dealing with protective gear in 100 degree weather, and knowing that it was worth it, to get that shot?"