New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 26, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, October 26,1963 SATexas families await news of Marines
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Soma of the Texas families of UJ5. Marines stationed in Beirut waited anxiously but fearfully for a third day for news of sons, husbands and brothers, while others exulted over hearing their boys were safe and at least two families learned the worst.
Pfc. Tim McMahon of Austin end Lance Cpl. John Douglas Caesar Jr. of El Campo were —Mug the more than IOO servicemen killed when a suicide bomber (hove a truck loaded with explosives into the American command poet at the Beirut, Lebanon airport Sunday.
In West Orange, Barbara Estes watched television in hopes of catching a glimpse of her son, Lance Cpl. Danny Estes, IO, who went to Beirut in April.
“I’ve just been trying to catch pictures on TV," she said Tuesday. "But Tm not going to
‘I was in shock after I heard the news (about the bombing). When I heard the knock and opened the door and saw the man in uniform, I was afraid he would say Lorenzo was dead.’
be satisfied until I talk to him.."
Estes visited his family before shipping out to the Middle East.
Mrs. Estes said told her son, "I don't care if they court martial you, if they start shooting at you, you run like hell."
As a joke, she said, he wrote home recently, "I never knew I could run so fast."
“But I knew he wouldn't (run)," she said.
Harold Montgomery of Austin adopted the attitude of "no news — good news" as he waited for word of his 19-year-old son, Joel.
Montgomery and his wife were "just piddling around the house, I guess, trying to stay busy," he said.
"Well, Frances, two more Marines got killed over here. This is really sad," Navy corpsman Lorenzo Almanza of Ell Paso wrote his sister in the letter received Tuesday.
After anxious hours of waiting, Almanza's mother, Piedad, and his two sisters, Frances and Marta, had learned he was injured but alive Monday.
"I was in shock after I heard the news (about the bombing)," his mother said Tuesday. "When I heard the knock and opened
the door and saw the man in uniform, I was afraid he would say Lorenzo was dead.
"I just stood there. I didn’t say a thing, I just listened. When he said (Lorenzo) was alive, I was relieved."
She learned from ILE. Walsh, commander of El Paso’s Naval Reserve Center, that her son had suffered pelvic and leg injuries in the blast and had been evacuated to the Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.
When she called the hospital at 2 a.m. Tuesday, she said, chief administrator Col. Richard Swengel said her son would undergo surgery for the second time in a few hours.
"I am still worried because I know he’s suffering," she said. "But (Swengle) said he would be OK and will be coining beck to the United States in about five days."
Jean Phares of Nederland said Tuesday that her son. Marine Lance Cpl. Marcus Phares,
22, was stationed in Lebanon, but she was not sure exactly where. She said that when he called three weeks ago, he told her that he was not permitted to divulge his exact location.
He did tell her the place was "dry and sandy and the pits."
"All I want is a phone call that says, ’Mom, I’m OK,”’ Mrs. Phares said.
"It’s just waiting and not knowing... and now I’m paranoid of car doors. They said on TV that they would come to your door if the news was bad," she said.
"I just keep looking through the curtains to see s military uniform."
Dorothy Coleman of Dallas says she has not lost hope even though her son, Army Spec. 4 Marcus E. Coleman, is listed as missing.
"I have a lot of fear but I haven’t given up completely," said Mrs. Coleman. "I just don’t believe it’s supposed to be like this."
Parents share double agony of waiting
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
While hundreds of parents awaiting news of their servicemen sons this week, the pain of uncertainty has been immeasurable. But two families have faced a double torment — each with two uniformed sons in hostile lands, one whose fate was unknown.
On Maine’s rocky coast, Etta Kathleen Wilcox knew Tuesday that ber son David had been wounded in the Marine bombing in Beirut. But three days after the terrorist attack, she still had no word of whether David's younger brother — also stationed in the Lebanese capital — had survived.
Seven hundred miles away, in rural western Pennsylvania, Orlando and Janice Valors had learned that their son Terrance was also injured in Lebanon: But they feared that his elder brother was headed for the fighting in Grenada.
"My wounded Marine — if it wasn’t tor unemployment, he wouldn’t be there," Mrs. Valors said. "He enlisted because be was unemployed end the boys have nowhere to go except the
"I’ve got to go through this whole thing again," said Valors. "I want my older son out of there. I feel my family has given enough."
"I get up early and put the TV on, the first thing," said Mrs. Wilcox, of Machias, at the northeastern tip of Maine’s coast. "Then I go around the channels. It’s all you can do — or go crazy."
Mrs. Wilcox heard of David’s injuries, reported to include "fractured ribs and cuts and stuff," when two Marines knocked on the door of the family home Monday morning. The
‘My wounded Marine — if it wasn’t for unemployment, he wouldn’t be there. He enlisted because he was unemployed and the boys have nowhere to go except the service.’
‘I’ve got to go through this whole thing again. I want my older son out of there. I feel my family has given enough.’
20-year-old corporal was reported to be in "stable and fair" condition, she said.
But authorities had no word on her 19-year-old son. Burton, a lance corporal who had sailed for Lebanon from Camp Lejeune, N.C., just two months ago on the same ship as his brother.
The Marine messengers told Mrs. Wilcox they hadn’t been aware that she had another son in Beirut. The next day, she said, she telephoned U.S. Rep. Olympia Snowe’s office and received assurances that staffers were trying to track down Burton.
Mrs. Wilcox said she hadn’t spoken to David yet, "but I’d like to."
The waiting has made her third son, 17-year-old Allan, "a nervous wreck," she said. The high school junior also plans a military future, she said, adding, "He’sgoing Air Force."
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Two families await the fate of their sons who are stationed in Beirut and in Grenada. Marines in Beirut were bombed Sunday at their station at the Beirut airport. Marines invaded Grenada late Tuesday.
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White House shows events leading to Grenada invasion
WASHINGTON (AP) - Asked st s White House party where the host was, Nancy Reagan replied, nonchalantly, that the president was "at a meeting."
The party, to preview a television program about drug abuse hosted by the first lady, continued. And upstairs, President Reagan conferred in the yellow Oval Room with key leaders of Congress.
It was Monday evening, and Reagan was telling Speaker of the House Thomas P. O’Neill Jr., Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr., and other senior congressional leaders that UJ. Marines and Army Rangers were only hours away from invading Grenada.
Two hours before, he made the final decision to send the troops on the predawn military operation, capping a series of top secret conferences that began in the middle of last week.
Last Thursday, Vice President George Bush chaired a late afternoon meeting in the situation room in the White House basement, "to review the grave turn of events and to consider their implications for the American citizens on the island," Secretary of State George P. Shultz said.
After receiving a report from that meeting, called one day after Grenada’s prime minister, Maurice Bishop, had been killed in a coup d'etat, Reagan decided to divert several ships to the seas around Grenada. They had been on their way to Lebanon carrying replacements for the U J. Marines stationed there.
On Friday, the president left Washington for a long-planned golfing weekend in Augusta, Ga., accompanied by Shultz, a golfing partner, and by Robert C. McFarlane, the new assistant to the president for national security affairs.
Shultz was awakened st 2:45 a.m. Saturday and given a message from Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, relaying the request of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States that the United States take part
in an invasion of Grenada.
He consulted with McFarlane, and about threequarters of an hour later, he spoke by telephone to Bush and other key national security advisers who were meeting in Washington.
By 5:15 a.m., Reagan had been awakened. Clad in a bathrobe, he conferred with Shultz and McFarlane.
At 9 a.m., Reagan spoke by telephone with the participants in another national security meeting chaired by Bush at the White House.
Shultz said consideration had been given to Reagan’s returning to Washington Saturday morning.
* But, said the secretary of state, it was decided that if the United States was going to take part in the invasion, "the element of secrecy should be maintained and if there was a sudden change in the president's plans, it would obviously call great attention to that possibility."
The president spent the day in Augusta, his golfing interrupted by an armed intruder who crashed through a gate of the Augusta National Golf Course.
Then, at 2:27 a.m. Sunday, Reagan was awakened with news of the bombing attack that killed more than 200 UJ. Marines and Navy men in Beirut. A decision was made to return to the White House.
On Monday, the president met from 2:15 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in what had been listed as a routine meeting.
At the conclusion, he made "a semifinal military decision" to proceed, Shultz said.
By 0 p m., the decision was final and Reagan signed an order directing that the operation proceed, the secretary of state said.
The president was up at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, telephoning his staff.
From there, he headed for the White House press briefing room and a live appearance on television and radio to announce that the invasion was under way.
Americans anxious about medical students attending school in Grenada
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Fear for 1,000 Americans on Grenada prompted one relative to label the UJ. invasion "outrageous” as a medical team on the recounted waking to the boom of gunfire and the sight of a submerged helicopter in the tropical waters outside their home.
Charles Modica, chancellor of the St. George’s University Medical School, where moot Americans on Grenada study, said the invasion of the small Caribbean island was "very unnecessary."
A husband-wife medical team, who live about two miles from the Grenada airport where fierce fighting occurred Tuesday after 1,900 UJ. Marines landed on the island, said they saw most of the battle from their windows.
"They were awakened this morning by the rapid fire of machine guns and small arms and also the sound of helicopters flying overhead right at daylight," said Fred Day of Puerto Rico, a family friend of Carter Davis, a dentist, and Ms wife, Charlotte, a nurse, who described the fighting by telephone.
"Carter and Charlotte both are able to see this helicopter that is partially submerged in the water," Day said in a telephone interview, explaining that the couple are from Powell, Ky., and work for the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board in Grenada.
"They said when they saw the airplanes and ^licopters they realized the hundreds of men they saw dropping down were American," Day said.
The Davises, he said, were "shocked by the events but never felt any threat or danger" in the attack or in the coup that took place last week.
Modica, in Bay Shore, N.Y., Tuesday for meetings, said the school’s officials received no word from the Reagan administration that UJ. troops were among the invading forces.
Lee Burnham, whose 25-year-old son Richard is a student, said she’s "especially worried about the boys off-campus." The East Hampton, N.Y., woman said she last beard from her son Friday.
"At this point, I just want to hear from him," she aaid Tuesday. "They must want to be doctors very much."
Amateur radio operator watches battle near home
PORT WORTH (AP) — According to ham radio operators monitoring reports here, an amateur radio operator in Grenada watched aa UJ. Marines and Grenadian forces battled each other for a beach just below his
Den Atkinson, formerly of West Hartford, Conn., said the Marines and Army Rangers hit a small beach below his home about 5:10 am., Fort Worth time.
He said he could still hear small arms sniper fire and helicopter gunships evsfbsed near hts homo.
Atkinson’s transmissions were monitored la Fort Worth by amateur radio operator Eddie Kuykendall, and local Civil Defense
emergency management officials Ben Byers and Fred Keish, the fort Worth Star Telegram reported.
All attempted without success to make contact with Atkinson to offer assistance, but could not because of the dozens of other stations making contact seeking news of relatives and the medical school at St. Georges.
Atkinson said he could not see why the United States invaded the small Caribbean island because "the students were in no serious danger at all."
"Things were proceeding normally," Atkinson said.
He said about IO percent of the students at
the St. George Medical School had indicated they wanted to leave the island. School officials told him they would not penalize any students that left the island because of the invasion, Atkinson said.
Atkinson said several four-engine aircraft with "unidentified markings" had made repeated flights over the city.
"I can still see sniper fire at the aiport," which was about 1H miles from his homo, he said.
About 10:45 a.m. Atkinson aaid he could ase two helicopter gunships circling overhead and watched as they "sprayed palm trees with gunfire."
He said the Marine and Ranger invaaien
"is going to bs mot by ronsidsrahle resistance."
Shortly before 11:10 a m. he aaid he had ju* seen one helicopter gunship shot down. Just offshore he said he could see a U J. hospital ship.
"It will have a good company of patients before they get through-it’s not a game.
"I hope tho people ^ started this know what they ware doing," ho told one stateside Nnstsur radio operator,
He said American troops were the only ones on the island ae far.Grenada asks United Nations for help
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Grenada asked the U.N. Security Council early today to condemn the invasion by nearly 2,000 US. Marines and Army paratroopers of its territory.
The special session ran for 2 Vt hours before it was adjourned at 1:21 am. CST. It was to resume this afternoon with consideration of a resolution introduced by Guyana that would have the Security Council condemn "the armed intervention in Grenada" and call for "the immediate withdrawal of the invading troops" from that country.
US. Ambassador Jeans J. Kirkpatrick defended the invasion, saying it was necessary lo
help preserve democracy on the Caribbean island nation.
Ian Jacobs, deputy chief of Grenada’s U.N. mission, complained of the UJ. action Tuesday and said:
"We must ask this council to nrpreas Bs strongest condemnation, because if we do not do that, what is happening to Grenada will happen to somebody else."
"We have reports of many deaths." he said. “Several hundred people, many of them civilian, have been killed as a result of tbs attack that has been hunched by the United States."
"Nobody should be surprised that it ta the United States that is in the forefront of the attack on Grenada," Jacobs declared.
"It is very dear," he wanton, and wgfdid that the United States had been preparing far the