Southeast Texans said their final goodbyes to U.S army Master Sergeant Timothy Hankins today.
The 40-year-old was born and raised in West Orange and passed away last weekend while stationed at Mc-Dill Air Force base in Florida.
Master Sergeant Hankins was known as not only a soldier, but a friend, a father, and a musician.
He was a man who loved the guitar and used his talent during his tours of duty around the world.
Hankins fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his service, he was awarded the purple hear and many other distinguished honors.
West Orange police officer, Dennis Hankins remembering his only son, from the moment he wanted to serve his country as a soldier for the U.S. Army.
"That's what type of worked he loved to do. He loved the military." Said Officer Hankins.
MSgt. Timothy Hankins was known as more than just a soldier, but a friend, a father, and also a musician. The 40-year-old loved the guitar and used his talent during his tours of duty around the world.
"He would write songs and when he was in Italy, he started playing classical music. He played beautiful music." Hankins said.
Body of fallen soldier comes home to West Orange
His name was very well known in the West Orange community. Assistant Chief of Police, Jessie Romero, described Sgt. Hankins as the "life of the party."
"It is hard to believe that Sgt. Hankins was dead because the kid was the life of the party. He was unbelievable!" Said Romero.
PRESS RELEASE FROM SANDRA WOMACK, PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS
MSgt Timothy Hankins, 40 passed away October 8, 2016 while stationed at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL from causes unknown. MSgt Hankins served in the US Army for 19 years and the Texas National Guard for 2 years. MSgt Hankins, is a 1994 graduate of West Orange Stark High School.
MSgt Hankins tours of duty include Iraq, Afghanistan, Italy, England, Scotland, Haiti and others. He served with the 82nd Airborne as a Jumpmaster and later became a member of the Green Beret as a Weapons Specialist. During his service he was awarded the Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, six Army Commendation Medals, eight Army Achievement Medals, four Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, three Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star and many other distinguished honors. MSgt Hankins is survived by his parents, wife and two children.
MSgt Hankins will return home on Friday, October 14, 2016 to Bush Intercontinental Airport. He will begin his journey home to Orange escorted by the his family, military, local law enforcement and the Patriot Guard Riders - Golden Triangle. The route from Houston will be Highway 1960 to Highway 90 through Beaumont to Interstate 10. The caravan will continue on Interstate 10 to Orange exiting at Highway 90/Strickland/MacArthur/Green Avenue to Claybar Funeral Home 504 N. 5th Street with an anticipated arrival between 8:30-9:00 pm.
Please encourage the community to line the route or meet at or near the funeral home to welcome this Hero home.
Funeral services are scheduled for Sunday, October 16th at 3:00 pm at the First Church of the Nazarene at 3810 MLK Parkway in Orange with burial at Hillcrest Cemetery on Highway 87 in Orange.