Grandfather turns to Team HOPE when grandson goes missing
Garry Henning’s grandson went missing in 2006 and was found deceased. Since then, Garry has volunteered for Team HOPE. Read about his experience in our ongoing series from volunteers with Team HOPE, a peer support program for families with missing or sexually exploited children.
Quadrevion Henning was my grandson — the only son of my son Quentin. Quadrevion, who we called Dre, was always a smart kid. He was bright for his age.
Dre had the biggest smile and a loving personality. I wish that everyone would have known him. They would have loved him as much as we did.
My son Quentin was in the Army and because of that he and Dre lived in Japan for a while. Usually when Quentin deployed, Dre lived with us.
When Dre came back to live with us we placed him in military school. He said he wanted to be like his dad, his papa, his uncle, his aunties — we all had served our country. He loved the school, after all where could you go and shout at other students and not get in trouble?
Dre was so proud of the school military awards he received. Two were for perfect attendance. Sometimes he would hold the certificates up and say with that shy smile, “Papa, did you and granny ever get one of these?” I was lucky if I went an entire month without missing.
The day Dre and his friend Purvis went missing was the worst day of our lives. The 27-day nightmare did not feel real. There was an overwhelming sense of helplessness, a feeling that this could not be happening. Our baby should have been home with us, with his granny, in his own bed, raiding the refrigerator, making noise with his cousin Eric.
Dre and Purvis’ bodies were found in a pond on April 15, 2006 near where they were last playing basketball.
It has been seven years since Dre’s death and sometimes I still see my wife sitting at the window watching for his school bus as she always did. I sit next to her and whisper to her, “Honey the school bus won’t stop in front of our house again.”
But she still sits there for a little while longer.
Our Dre lost his life trying to save his drowning friend. People say he was a hero. We say he was just being Dre.
Support from Team HOPE
When Dre went missing, our home was turned upside down. So many people were there, all times of the day and night. We had no private time for ourselves.
Church groups held prayer services in front of our home. Politicians gave press conferences on our lawn. Police, the FBI and sheriff’s deputies were in and out of the house. When we left our home, news reporters pushed microphones in our faces. There was so much madness.
We kept telling ourselves that they were just trying to help, but we needed someone with a level head.
As I look back, there are things I remember and some I don’t. But I do remember the call from Team HOPE member Colleen as if it was yesterday. That call from Team HOPE was as if an angel had been sent.
We were skeptical at first but Colleen made us feel safe. She understood our plight, but how could this be? So many had been calling and coming by. However she was different. She talked with understanding, talked as if she was in our shoes.
She reminded me to take care of myself, to tell the truth no matter what and to take some time for family. I can’t remember how many times she talked to me. But I do remember at times I would come home and ask, “Had that lady called?” She was my safety net. I needed to hear a voice of reason, not a voice trying to push me in one direction or another.
After this experience with Team HOPE, I also became a volunteer. When I went to my first Team HOPE training I did not know what to expect, but I was embraced with open arms. This was a very special group.
When it came time for me to tell Dre’s story, tears flowed, but this time they were tears of inclusion. The room with strangers not only heard the story, they got it. I knew then I wanted to be part of this. Team Hope became and still is my therapy. Even years later, I consider myself a referral, in need of my Team Hope family.
If your life has been touched by the heartbreak of having a missing or exploited child and you feel you need support contact Team HOPE at 1-866-305-HOPE.