Away for the Holidays

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There is no good time for a National Guard unit to head overseas, especially to what some still call a war. But now, just two and a half weeks before Christmas Day, may be the toughest time of all.

“Holidays are for family get-togethers, and no one wants to have a family member to be gone,” said Madison County resident, Karen Hill.

One resident's husband served in Vietnam, and she just said goodbye to other family members, headed with the 3664th Maintenance Company to Iraq.

“I'm very proud of them, but I just want them to get it settled quickly, and get them back home,” said Deborah.

This is a community which itself was once part of a war. It was the scene of the Battle of Point Pleasant, just before the American Revolution, and no matter what happens, residents here support the troops.

“(The Iraq war) just turned out to be more than what most realized. But I think it's best to stay until it's cleaned up,” said Landon Stepp.

“My dad fought (in World War II), and it's just as bad now,” Gallipolis Resident Ann Brown said.

But as this area prepares for the holidays, people here can't help feeling an emptiness in their hearts. No doubt, with it nearing the anniversary of the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse, it's not the first time people have felt that way at this time of the year.