Several soldiers from the Bowling Green area were part of yesterday's departure ceremony in Murray, Ky., including 19-year-old Adam Hampton.
You may remember a story we did on Adam in early October.
He and his fiancee were set to get married next year, but after finding out about this deployment, they sped up the process.
Now Adam's family, as well as other Kentucky families, are trying to speed up their own process of raising enough money to get their soldiers back home in time for the Christmas holiday.
Lavonne Hellmann has supported her son's dream of being in the National Guard since the time he enlisted--merely a junior in high school.
"I had to sign permission for him to join at 17. He had to kind of talk us into that," Lavonne admitted.
Now a couple of years later, her son Adam is deploying to Iraq.
He left this weekend for Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he will be training until the first of the year.
"I said, 'You're going to be leaving on Veteran's Day. He said, 'It's kind of ironic isn't it,'" Lavonne admitted.
Ironic, but tough on those closest to him, like his sister.
"It's kind of hard with him not here, you know--kinda hard," assured Jessica Hellman, Adam's sister.
Jessica is hoping this holiday season, she will see her brother one more time before he deploys to Iraq.
Members of the Family Readiness Group in Murray, Ky. are trying to raise the funds to do this.
"It's more important than almost anything. I just have to have him here--have to. He's always the crazy one. He always plays Santa. He gives out the presents to everyone and it has to happen," Jessica admitted.
So this holiday season, it isn't the gifts under the tree you'll hear these military families asking for.
They simply have one request--to bring their soldiers home for the holiday.
"It's going to happen. It's unacceptable for it not to happen. It will be difficult if it doesn't, but we are very hopeful that it does," Lavonne said.
Fort Dix will be closed for a couple of weeks for the Christmas holiday and in order to bus the 136 soldiers home and then back, $25,000 must be raised.
So far the support group has raised around $5500.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP THE CAUSE, YOU CAN SEND A CHECK TO:
- Bring a Soldier Home
- c/o Regions Bank
- P.O. Box 1080
- Murray, Ky. 42071