Hoke sisters deploy together to IraqThe Hoke family might want to consider holding its next family reunion in Iraq. At the rate things are going, there might soon be more family members there than there are in Minnesota.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
The Hoke family might want to consider holding its next family reunion in Iraq. At the rate things are going, there might soon be more family members there than there are in Minnesota.
Farmington High School graduates Lynette and Jenaye Hoke, both members of the Army National Guard’s 34th CAB, will deploy later this month bound for Camp Anaconda, Iraq. It’s an arrangement Jenaye requested, but one that has left family members who will stay behind feeling a mix of pride and nerves.
“It’s a little concerning to have them both (deployed) at the same time, but they wanted to stick together,” said mother Rindy Hoke. “They’ll have each other to keep in contact with. They’ll see each other and lean on each other.”
Jenaye requested a transfer to her sister’s unit once Lynette learned she was headed for Iraq. She wanted to get her deployment out of the way, Rindy said. Jenaye has since learned her old unit will be deployed in January.
Jenaye’s decision didn’t come as a big surprise to father, Terry Hoke.
“I know them pretty well and they like to stick together,” he said. “They want to have a little bit of an adventure over there.”
Lynette, 26, is a public affairs specialist in the Guard. A visual information specialist for the state of Minnesota in her day-to-day life, she will produce brigade newsletters for the unit’s family readiness group and work with reporters who want to follow soldiers. Jenaye, 20, works in military intelligence. She is still in college.
Although they won’t always have a lot of time to see each other, Lynette said she looks forward to serving alongside her sister. Lynette has already been deployed once — to Kosovo — and said she’s been giving Jenaye advice on what to expect.
“It’s definitely a morale thing for her being as young as she is,” Lynette said. “I definitely look forward to being able to help her when she needs it.
“She’s a tough cookie, but she just has questions about what to bring and this and that.... I think overall she’s acclimating well,” she said.
Lynette said she’ll feel a certain responsibility for her sister once they get to Iraq.
“It definitely is a motivation to do your absolute best because as an older sister I am a role model,” she said. “I do look forward to being there for her.”
This isn’t the end for members of the Hoke family heading overseas, either. Lynette and Jenaye have a brother-in-law in the Army who will follow them to Iraq in October. A third Hoke sister is also currently a member of the National Guard.
“It’s a little unnerving to have so many of your family over there, but they seem capable so we’re trusting that God will take care of them and they’ll do their little tour and get done,” Terry said. “I think they’ll watch out for each other. They always get ahold of me if they’ve got questions about things.”
A tradition of service
Lynette and Jenaye are just the latest in their family to serve in the military. Their father was in the Air Force, and his father served as well. Rindy’s father made a career in the Army.
Lynette joined the National Guard two years into her college career as a way to pay for school. Jenaye joined for the same reason before she started her freshman year.