Originally created 03/18/03

Military spouses prepare for war, consequences



Barbara Martin watched President Bush's 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein closely, knowing that the stage was set for her husband to go to war.

"I just wish that they would come to a resolution so that we could find a solution without a war," Ms. Martin said Monday.

While she watched Mr. Bush on television from her home in south Augusta, her husband, Capt. Mohandas Martin, was in the Kuwaiti desert, commanding the Army Reserve's 319th Transportation Company, waiting for war to start.

Her children, Olivia, 5, and Destin, 4, both played while the president spoke.

"They don't know what war is," Ms. Martin said, "but they know we've been praying for daddy and all the troops."

Teresa Kennedy, the wife of 2nd Lt. Richard Kennedy, a platoon leader in the 319th, heads a support group for military spouses. She watched the president's address from her home in North Augusta.

She said she is prepared for the inevitability that her husband will go to war, now that war seems imminent.

"I'm totally prepared for what's coming, and I think all of our guys are, too," Ms. Kennedy said.

After watching Mr. Bush's address, Ms. Kennedy said the president made his points very clear.

"I did like the fact that he talked to the Iraqi people and told them America is not against them," she said.

Ms. Kennedy said she was worried not about her husband's fighting but about the possibility that Saddam might use chemical or biological weapons.

"That's a little scary to me. But the guys in 319th are all very level-headed," she said.

Mark Langford watched the speech with a friend at home in Aiken, while his wife, Spc. Brande Langford, was abroad.

"I'm a little bit scared," he said, "but I know she's trained for this, and I feel her and her unit will get the job done safely."

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.