A Green Country family says their soldier was gunned down in a firefight north of Baghdad Tuesday. Specialist Hank Whorton was wounded twice, once in each leg. The News On 6â€™s Ashli Sims reports his grandmother says she didn't think it could happen a second time around.
Whortonâ€™s grandmother Sherri Zelnick has spent most of the last 24 hours on the phone. She's waiting for word on her 24-year-old grandson, Army Specialist Hank Whorton.
"I know how devoted he is to his service, but I had a very difficult time saying goodbye to him this time," said Zelnick.
This is Whorton's second deployment. The first time around he was hit by an IED.
"That time they just patched him up and sent him back, as soon as the concussion was clear enough," Zelnick said.
Whorton was honored for his service in 2005. He became a dad, but still a soldier first, so he reenlisted. But he admitted to his grandmother this tour of duty is tougher.
"He says, 'It's so much harder to go this time, because I'm leaving my son behind.' He said, 'I know I need to go, but I don't want to leave Zach and Yuliaâ€™,â€ said Zelnick.
Zelnick says her grandson had only been back in Iraq for a few weeks when his unit was ambushed by a car full of armed insurgents.
"And Hank was of course the troop leader, so he was the first one out, first one hit," she said.
She says Whorton was hit in both legs, but managed to return fire. When she heard he was injured for a second time, she only had one thought.
"Let him come home,â€ Zelnick said.
Sherri Zelnick says they don't really know yet the extent of Specialist Whorton's injuries. She says he's being transferred to a hospital in Germany.
Depending on his injuries he could be home for a couple of months, before returning to the frontlines.
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