“This has been the best job in the world. I can’t imagine what my life would have been

“This has been the best job in the world. I can’t imagine what my life would have been without it. It’s been an expanding and broadening experience.”

Elsie Dursi, executive director of Mahoning Valley Association of Churches since September 1989, planning retirement from the position she’s held for more than two decades.

“I talked to a legislator in North Dakota, and I don’t think we are totally aware of what we’re about to see in the Mahoning Valley and the entire eastern Ohio corridor. There is a need not only to regulate landmen, but also to ensure that people are protected from the companies that are coming in here.”

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, co-sponsor of legislation to regulate the landmen, who negotiate oil and gas leases. Supporters say the changes are needed to deal with an expanding industry.

“A homecoming for someone who has been gone for several months is pretty much like a wedding: You can’t repeat it. You can’t act it out again. And for those who perhaps don’t come home, it’s important to have those earlier pictures for the family.”

Tonee Lawrence, a photographer who now resides in Arkansas, founded Love ReUnited in 2006. Operation: Love ReUnited is a nationwide nonprofit organization based in Colorado that connects photographers with military service members who are undergoing deployment for free photo sessions and albums.

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