Sherri Williams
Multimedia Journalist

Sherri Williams is a magazine, newspaper and online journalism graduate student. She has lived across the country and has a special affinity for the South, especially Mississippi. Sherri enjoys living life and writing about it.

Children Left Behind
Wives Left Behind
Mothers Left Behind
Soldiers Before Citizens
One of the Guys

Staying connected

News 21 fellow Kelly West and Daralyn Hollenbeck talk Photo by: Sherri Williams

In this rural area of Washington it is sometimes difficult to communicate with the people we interview. Almost every appointment is at least an hour away from where we are staying,  cell phone service often drops while driving along winding highways and rocky unpaved roads threaten to pierce our tires. 

Family fills the gap

Rayna Cawston gets a break while niece Thea carries Antya.  Photo by: Kelly West

During the weekend my colleague Kelly West and I spent some time with Rayna Cawston and her extended family. Rayna, who lives on the Confederated Tribes of Colville Reservation in Coulee Dam, deeply felt her husband Open in LightBox Justin's absence when he went to Iraq.

Veterans' Story Day

Percy Faison | Portrait by: AJ Chavar

Women war vets ...

Shannon Williams spoke to two News21 reporters at her home Photo by: Kelly West

Yesterday the Veterans of Foreign Wars kicked off the start of Republic's Prospectors' Days parade, a major summer event in this rural Washington town.

Middle-aged men walked down the street carrying the American flag. Young boys proudly strolled next to them. But there were no women.

The absence of women in the parade mirrors the lack of appreciation some contemporary women veterans feel.

Shannon Williams, 29, who was in the Army, had two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. She was a cook in the Middle East and she was posted at a U.S. entry gate.

Mothers unite

Daralyn Hollenbeck, Blue Star Mothers organizer Photo by: Sherri Williams

When Daralyn Hollenbeck saw mothers of soldiers at war she always thought the women handled the stress of having a child at battle with ease.

"When it happened to me I realized it wasn't so easy," said Hollenbeck, 51, of Oroville whose son Josh Hollenbeck was deployed to Iraq in February. "The biggest thing that surprised me was how deploy I feared for him."