Two Bartlesville area moms helping supply their military sons with the essentials

Thursday, March 13th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

For parents of children in the military, it can be difficult to know that war could be on the horizon.

Some military mothers are doing their best to cope with the fact that their sons will be the first ones to see action. News on 6 anchor Tami Marler shows us how their efforts are helping a lot of other mothers' children.

"I spend most of my time every evening, flipping the channels looking for the news. When I'm not on the TV I'm on the internet, because I go to all these different websites and check to see if there's been any change." That's what it's like for Marine Corporal Daniel Smith's mother, waiting to hear when her son will blaze a trail into Iraq. She says he hasn't set foot on dry land in weeks.

"Well it took 37 days just to get there, and then he cannot get on land until the war starts, so he is totally sick of the ship." And the time hasn't been much easier on Sandy O'Neal. "I've totally remodeled my kitchen; I have to have things to keep me busy to keep my mind off of it. I just pray for his safety and leave him in God's hands. I can't do anything for him except that. And it's restless, that's why having a diversion like this keeps me really busy."

O'Neal has been sending her son's entire squadron care packages with lots of little things we might take for granted. "He went over there with a hundred dollars; now he hasn't spent anything, because we have sent him everything." Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Carter's mom also wanted to make constructive use of her time, not only for her son, but also for the sons of other mothers. "What got me motivated to do this is that Aaron has men in his platoon that don't have any family or they can't afford it, and he said 'they're doing without, mom.'"

Laura Young couldn't stand to hear that soldiers were doing without essentials, like soap, sunscreen, snacks and socks. At camps in the Kuwait Desert, they'll stand in line for hours on end, waiting to buy food and other basics. "These guys are over there to put their lives down, for us, and they don't have the stuff that they need."

If you'd like to help our troops serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, you can contact Sandy O'Neal at (918) 335-0886, or Laura Young at (918) 534-3732.

Aaron Carter is serving at Camp Pennsylvania in the Kuwaiti Desert. There's also a Camp New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. They’re named after the states most affected by the 9-11 attacks.