Wounded soldier comes home for the holidays
Nevada Appeal News Service
HAWTHORNE – Christmas came early for the 3,000 people of Hawthorne, and for a wounded soldier who returned home for the first time on Saturday after losing both legs in a mortar attack in Afghanistan earlier this year.
Spc. Timothy Hall received a rousing welcome from more than 200 friends and family at the Hawthorne Airport with chants of his first name and clapping, while others waved miniature and large American flags. One man, a veteran dressed in his woodland green camouflage Army uniform, bellowed out, “Welcome home, trooper.” A lady holding a placard yelled, “We love you Tim.”
His parents, stepfather Eric Hamrey and mother Tammy, greeted him with kisses and hugs.
“It’s good to come home today. It helps me out a lot,” said Hall. “It lets me know they support me a lot more. They are not worried what I look like or how I will act. They’re just happy for me to be here.”
Tammy Hamrey was relieved to have her son home.
“It’s been a long day,” she said.
“I am so excited to have him home. It’s been a long haul. I’ve got him for two-and-a-half weeks with him and will cherish every moment of it.”
Hall, who was assigned to the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion out of Bamburg, Germany, was injured in a mortar attack in June. He eventually had both legs amputated, his left leg up to his groin area and his right leg up to his hip. He also lost part of his pelvic bone.
Since June, both Nevada senators – Harry Reid and John Ensign – along with Nevada Congressman Dean Heller have visited Hall. Ensign also awarded Hall with his Purple Heart and a United States flag that flew over the Capitol.
Hall also met National Football League quarterback Drew Brees along with the rest of the New Orleans Saints when they visited the White House for winning the Super Bowl.
Brittany Canady, one of Hall’s closest friends from high school, fixed her eyes on Hall as he was carried off the jet on a gurney. Earlier in the week, Canady flew back to Washington to spend time with Hall and then accompanied him to Hawthorne along with his father, Russell Hall Sr.
“He was getting really excited, super excited,” said Canady, describing her friend’s feelings when the jet made its approach to the Hawthorne Airport. Canady considered it an honor to be with Hall as he returned home for two-and-half-weeks. Hall leaves Jan. 5 for Washington, D.C., where he will resume his therapy at the Walter Reed Medical Center.
After being escorted by the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department and fire trucks from the city of Hawthorne and the Hawthorne Army Depot, Hall caught a glimpse of his newly remodeled house.
In order for Hall to access the home, volunteers remodeled the Hamrey’s house with wider halls, a larger bathroom and a bigger bedroom.
Since July, Eric Hamrey said many in the community held fundraisers to provide for building supplies and for air transportation to and from Washington, D.C.
Hall said his mother told him the house was being remodeled. Asked what he thought of the remodeling, Hall thanked his parents.
“It just reminds me of how good a family I have,” he said.
Although Hall may have two, perhaps three, more years of therapy remaining, he is thinking about his future and how he may want to give something back to Hawthorne. “I actually want to go back to school and become a counselor and come back to Hawthorne,” he said.