Saying Goodbye To Family - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/29/03 - Longview

Saying Goodbye To Family

"You gotta be ready," Mike Hoffner is heading to an unknown place. "I'm just doing what I'm trained to do," he's packing his goodbye's into one day. Mike says it just part of the job,"Where as the families you leave behind--it's a shock for them. They're really not trained to be left behind. I think they're the unsung heroes so to speak."

Mobilization orders from the National Guard were activated early this week. Short notice... But no amount of time could have prepared his family. "I think the reality has not really hit me since I have him sitting right next to me," says Mike's wife Clare.

This will be the first time Mike and Clare have been apart in 12 years of marriage. The first time their children have gone without dad. Claire says they are worries, "They ask questions--what if daddy dies. I ask them not to worry about it...that ultimately the Lord will take care of us."

Though Mike doesn't know when be coming home...defending his country means protecting his family.

Mike Hoffner is heading out Thursday. He's part of the CH47 Chinook Unit. His mission will include airlifting everything from cargo and artillery to troops.

Jennifer Brice, reporting.

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