Broken Arrow woman has faith her husband in Iraq will stay safe

Monday, September 20th 2004, 10:29 am
By: News On 6

It's not easy to keep your cool when your loved one is working a civilian job in Iraq. There's news of kidnappings and car bombs. But a Broken Arrow woman says her husband is keeping his cool along with many others.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg has a story from the home front about an iceman in Iraq. Terry Garrison keeps a picture of Jim, her husband of 20 years, on her desk at the Broken Arrow Church of Christ.

And she keeps the faith that he'll be okay. "He says he has no problem being there, he says he feels very comfortable when he's on base." The base is in a town called Al Asad, northwest of Baghdad.

Jim, a heating and air-conditioning tech, helps keep the ice plant running. Some days it gets really hot, including one day she says it got to 144-degrees. "I can't imagine 140 degrees." You can bet they go through a lot of ice. Jim's plant makes 5 tons a day. She says they talked a lot before he left if it was the right move.

The money's good, but she says Jim also wanted to do something like his father, who fought in World War II. "He says this is just my way to support the troops, and this is what I want to do." She says for Jim, who's three months into an 11-month stay; it's a strange new world. "He made the comment; it's like being in the Wizard of Oz. He says it's not, you're not in Kansas anymore." And she says for her, it's been lonely. "If I can't get a hold of someone to call and vent to, I talk to God a lot."

So far, she says his worst crisis has been an ingrown toenail, but lest he get adventurous, she has two words for Jim and the base. "Don't leave."

Terry and Jim will meet halfway for a brief reunion in London next month and then he's back to Iraq until May of next year. They have two teenaged sons.