New Hampshire

‘We're Thankful for Him': National Guardsmen Away for Thanksgiving

While so many gear up for a family celebration on Thursday, others aren't so lucky.

Families of service members will be missing their loved ones this holiday.

Modern technology is what keeps Wendy Leach and her husband close, even though he's is 1,750 miles away.

"We are so blessed to be able to have that," Wendy said holding her iPad.

Master Sergeant Kevin Leach is a New Hampshire Air National Guardsman on a monthlong mission in Puerto Rico.

"I am so incredibly proud of his commitment and his dedication," Wendy said.

"We're doing everything we can do to help restore their lives," explained MSGT Leach via Facetime.

When he left, he knew he'd be gone for Thanksgiving.

"He didn't think twice about going, he knew this is what he signed up to do," Wendy said.

"I've been deployed to Afghanistan prior to through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, and it's something that we have committed to in our nation," MSGT Leach said.

Families of service members across the country are busy planning tomorrow’s dinner with an empty chair.

"Geez, I got to stop crying," said Kim Lemay through her tears.

The emotions tell the story about how hard it is for Lemay to spend the holidays without her husband.

"I just miss him being home, so much," she said.

Master Sargent Chris Lemay is also a New Hampshire Airman.

"He's been in the service 22 years," Lemay said.

He's been in the Middle East since July and this is the first time their two kids will spend the holidays without their dad.

"They pray at night, they want him to come home," Lemay said. "We have a countdown."

These military families making sacrifices this Thanksgiving, but still finding so many reasons to celebrate.

"We're thankful for him, we have so much to be thankful for," Wendy Leach said.

"It makes us stronger in the end," Lemay said.

Right now, there are 114 New Hampshire Airmen deployed on missions around the world. Most will spend thanksgiving and Christmas overseas.

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