Governor relays message from Iraq to soldier's wife

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Beshear calls pregnant wife of Shelby guardsman

By Todd Martin

Gov. Steve Beshear's visit to Iraq on Tuesday made a surprise swing though Shelbyville. National Guard Warrant Officer Bruce Gentry, who is also a Shelbyville Police officer, asked Beshear to relay a message to his wife, Myrranda Gentry, who is pregnant with the couple's first child. "We had talked earlier in the day, and I was telling him what a bad day I had," she said. "He told 'Well, just make sure you watch the news tonight.'" Myrranda Gentry said she didn't know what to expect, until she received a call from Frankfort later that evening telling her what was going on. And after the news report on WDRB-Channel 41? "The phone was just ringing off the hook," she said. Even though the two speak almost everyday via Skype, Myrranda Gentry said the whole thing was a big surprise. "It was amazing," she said. "It's kind of like getting a call from the president, you never think it's going to happen to you. Of all the soldiers he talked to and all the people he could have relayed a message to, he picked me. It was really, really nice." Bruce Gentry had told Beshear that his wife was going to have their baby soon and asked him to tell her that he loved her and was looking forward to the birth of the child. Myrranda Gentry is due on Aug. 31, but she said she could have the baby any day now. She had gone to the hospital Wednesday, only to be sent home. "It's really slow progress right now, but I'm visibly and physically ready," she said. She hopes her husband will be able watch the birth via Skype. "That's our plan, if the timing works out with his schedule," she said. Both also have children from previous marriages. The Pentagon invited Beshear and three other governors – Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Brian Sadoval of Nevada and Gary R. Herbert of Utah – on trip a to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan in May because of the large number of troops from their states deployed in the Middle East. Beshear will be back in Washington D.C., today, and in Kentucky by Saturday in time to attend the Fancy Farm political picnic Saturday in Graves County. More than 2,600 Kentucky soldiers are currently in Iraq and Kuwait. Beshear, who faces Republican David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith in the Nov. 8 general election, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he wasn't concerned with the effect the trip will have on his campaign. "The welfare of these troops is a lot more important than politics," he said. For safety concerns while on the trip, Behsear was issued body armor and a Kevlar helmet.