Long-distance Christmas only option for families with loved ones in Kuwait

Long-distance Christmas only option for families with loved ones in Kuwait
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Family and friends are helping Dana Hutchens of Obion cope with her husband, Shane Hutchens, serving in Kuwait this Christmas season. It’s been an emotional struggle for Mrs. Hutchens, but she is handling her situation with a strong sense of resolve.
A long-distance Christ-mas is being celebrated this holiday season for many families in Obion County.
Military families across the region are dealing with having their loved ones in Kuwait this Christmas.
Mrs. Hutchens’ husband is serving in Kuwait with the other 162 members of the Tennessee National Guard’s Union City-based 913th Engineer Co. The local National Guard unit left Union City in mid-August for a one-year deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Mrs. Hutchens said she and her husband communicate regularly by email and using the Internet’s Skype and Google Talk.
Staying in touch has been made significantly easier, courtesy of the Internet.
“It’s tough,” Mrs. Hutchens said. “But I look at it this way, I married a soldier so I’ve got to be a soldier’s wife. I’ve got to be tough for him and the kids.”
It’s an emotional time for Mrs. Hutchens, who is spending her first Christmas apart from her husband since they were married three years ago.
Her family and friends are helping her make it through the holidays, and she said they have been a real blessing.
“It’s not easy. You just try to focus on everyday stuff,” Mrs. Hutchens said.
Her husband has three children, two daughters, Kayla Hutchens and Jasmine Hutchens, and a son, Josh Hutchens. They are helping Mrs. Hutchens cope with the absence of her husband this holiday season.
Hutchens is scheduled to return home briefly in the spring to be with his daughter, Kayla, for her high school graduation. She is a senior at Obion County Central High School.
Kayla Hutchens is living in Obion with Mrs. Hutchens and Josh Hutchens is expected to move in sometime in the next few weeks.
“We just try to keep things normal,” she said.
Spending time with her husband’s parents has helped, too.
As for her husband, Mrs. Hutchens said “he’s doing good.”
This Christmas season has been particularly difficult for Mrs. Hutchens, who works at the Obion County Sheriff’s Department but is taking some time off to deal with a recent surgery for breast cancer. Published in The Messenger 12.15.11

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