Coal miner drives six hours for work

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Being laid off has changed one Harlan County man's life.

Bill Wilson leaves his family behind each week to do the one thing he knows, mine coal.

Bill Wilson has his dream home nestled in Harlan County.

"We thought we had a pretty good future," Wilson said. "I really thought I'd be able to stay here in Harlan and work. I thought the coal business would be good."

The future changed in January when he was laid off from Black Mountain Resources.

Two weeks ago he started a new job, but it's six hours away in Grafton, West Virginia.

"It kind of chokes you up to think you have to leave and work away from here," Wilson said.

Every week he leaves. He and a few other Eastern Kentuckians work in West Virginia five days a week, then drive back for two days with their families.

Wilson's sons said, "Very hard. We miss him and everything."

"You don't want your kids to be without, but you don't you don't want them to be without you either. They're gonna be without one way or the other," Wilson said.

Wilson tries to make-up for lost time the two days at home.

He tries to take care of his home and his children. He told us sometimes he has to choose between sleeping or mowing the grass.

Wilson says he has no plans of moving to West Virginia.

"It's not home. I miss home. I miss being back here with the people in Eastern Kentucky," he said.

So he treasures his time at home, and the boys treasure the moments with their father.

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