I know this one is a little old, but still it's a good story that I think we all might enjoy :
Soldier offers to stay in Iraq
LOWER TOWNSHIP -- A New Jersey Army National Guard member is home for the holidays, thanks to a colleague's generosity.
When the Cape May Court House-based 253rd Transportation Company held a drawing to determine who would get leave, Specialist Jonathan Hinker -- the
married father of a 7-year-old son -- drew too high a number to qualify. However, the 34-year-old Lower Township man's disappointment soon turned to
joy when Specialist James Presnall volunteered to stay in Iraq.
"(Presnall) felt it was more important (that) Jon was able to come home for his family. He gave up his opportunity to come home," Hinker's wife,
Buffi, told The Press of Atlantic City.
Presnall, a 20-year-old Galloway Township native who is not married, had planned to spend his leave with his parents, Howard and Toni Presnall. While
disappointed about not seeing their son, they were overjoyed to learn of their son's selfless act.
"We told him we'd love to see him, but we are proud of him for doing this for a guy with a wife and young child," Toni Presnall said. While she and
her husband saw Buffi Hinker at weekly meetings held for the unit members' families, they never told her what had happened because Jonathan Hinker --
who came home on Monday -- wanted to surprise his wife.
Buffi Hinker, a secretary for the Lower Township Police Department, has also been running the family limousine business since her husband shipped out
in April. While doing all that work and caring for a young child leaves her little free time, she is not complaining.
"They (American troops) are doing something that's very important, so I'm able to go without a lot of sleep and get it done," she said. "It means
everything to me that my son considers (his father) a hero. My husband wouldn't be the man he is if he didn't do this."
Once again, generosity is alive, someone cares enough for his fellow man to step up and stay behind, so that another may see his family.
[story reported by The Associated Press]
Published in the Home News Tribune 12/18/03