Family Is Missing Loved One In Iraq

Many of us have spent this Thanksgiving Day with family and loved ones, but some eastern Kentucky families are missing something because they have Mountain Warrior Soldiers serving overseas.

WYMT's Julie Maloney spent Thanksgiving with one family that says it's been a tough day without their son, father, and husband.

With Thursday being a day of thanks, the Hinkle family says what they're really grateful for is that their soldier is safe, but the hardest part is knowing that there's an empty spot in their hearts and an empty chair at the table.

The Hinkle family says this Thanksgiving just isn't the same.

"I woke up this morning thinking about it and wishing that he was here," Windell Hinkle said.

"He would probably be sitting here on the couch watching a football game," Renee Hinkle said.

But there's no football game on and it's little things like the empty chair that this family can tell something is missing.

"It's just like a hole missing around the table, it's somebody missing," Windell Hinkle said.

Master Sergeant Gordy Hinkle isn't here because he's in Iraq fighting to keep his country and his family safe.

Hinkle has been in Baghdad for two months now.

While his 11-year-old daughter wishes he was home, she says she admires her dad's strength and courage.

"I'm real proud of him fighting for our country. I'm real proud of him not getting homesick which I know he is and he misses real bad," Kristen Hinkle said.

While Iraq is thousands of miles from here, Gordy's Uncle John, who fought in Vietnam, says it's really not that far away.

"You'd look at the stars and the moon and you would say they can see the same thing back there that I can see here," John said.

The brightest star here is Gordy, a father, a son, a hero in the minds of his loved ones.

The Mountain Warriors are expected to be home next October so Gordy's chair won't be empty next Thanksgiving and Gordy's brother says there will be an extra chair at the table as his wife is expecting a baby soon.


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