Gene Hodge Visit   

    Eugene (Gene) Hodge was in F Troop 17 th Cav. during 1968 and 1969. He was an NCOC graduate, who completed the school and  became an E-6. He was in NCOC with two guys Bruce Austin and Thomas Howard and they became best friends. Bruce came to F Troop in 1968 and when he returned from his first mission he found that Gene and Tom had also be assigned to F Troop. All three made it back to the world and were in touch for a while and then lost contact. Gene married and was a shop teacher in a Hampton, VA. School. With two days left before the summer break in 1989  Gene and a friend were in his truck driving to lunch when a car pulled if front of him sending his truck over the hood of the car. The truck flipped over landing on its top and Gene was paralyzed. He is now a quadriplegic and has been in the VA Hospital in Hampton,VA since 1989. Tim Hertel finally located Gene in November of 2010. I spoke with him in November. Then I decided to locate Bruce Austin and Tom Howard, and I was successful. I suggested we make a surprise visit in early December as a Christmas gift to Gene. So on December 09, Tim Hertel flew in to Louisville from CA. and David "Doc" Creviston drove in from Illinois. We met up that evening had dinner and made plans to leave Crestwood,Ky (my home) early on Dec. 10. We left early on the 10th and drove to the West VA./KY. state lines and met up with Tom Howard. Bruce Austin and his wife Kathy drove up from Mississippi and we met up around  6:30 P.M. at the VA hospital. Which was about 3 hours later than anticipated. We met with Christopher Hodge (Gene's son) and we went to the meeting room and waited for Gene. The photos are of how we surprised him. We stayed about 3 hours and met again Saturday Morning for breakfast and the back to the hospital for BS and looking through photos and good memories. We left late on Saturday night and Gene was very tired but extremely happy. Early Sunday we returned home after a great trip, that I will never forget.
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