Since President Bush declared war on Iraq more than a year ago,
the threat of danger to family and loved ones deployed overseas has
been on many Americans’ minds.
CSU student Matt Sager knows firsthand the fear of having a
loved one sent overseas.
Sager’s father is an Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot who was
sent to Iraq in spring 2003.
“Ever since Sept. 11, (2001), we were told that (my family)
would be given 72 hours notice and he would have to leave,” said
Sager, a sophomore sociology major. “(My dad leaving) was really
rough on my 10-year-old brother, my 17-year-old sister and my
Sager was at a baseball camp in Arizona when he found out his
father was being deployed. He said the stress had a negative impact
on his baseball performance.
“Before he left I was batting at like a .585,” he said. “I was
0-12. I couldn’t even hit the damn ball.”
Sager’s father missed his high school graduation and senior
“There are times when I found myself mad at him,” Sager said.
“(But) there comes a time when you can’t keep going on worrying all
the time. It’s his job.”
Despite the stresses his father’s absence caused, Sager respects
what he does.
“He’s definitely a huge role model,” Sager said. “Even though he
missed some important events in my life, I have a lot of respect
Senior marketing major Jeff Miller has a brother who served in
Iraq and may be deployed again. Although Miller does not
particularly feel that his brother is in danger, he respects his
decision to serve.
“It’s obviously scary, but he likes to serve his country,”
Miller said. “Especially with the election and all this antiwar
sentiment, I think it’s pretty respectable that he’s willing to go
and put himself on the line.”
Both Sager and Miller were able to keep in touch with their
“My dad used a satellite phone when he got to the airbase, and
you have to wait and let them say everything because the phone
echoes and delays,” Sager said.
Erin Gardner, a junior apparel and merchandising major whose
boyfriend has been to Iraq twice, knows the importance of
communication during times of war.
“We talked on the phone about once every two months, and hearing
his voice and knowing he was OK made it easier,” Gardner said.
She also found that writing letters to her boyfriend helped her
when she missed him.
“I wrote him multiple times a week, and that made it easier,”
Near the end of February 2005, her boyfriend will be deployed to
Iraq again for another five to seven months.
Despite the difficulty of war, these students believe that it is
possible to stay connected with love ones during times of
“I think what makes it so hard is that you don’t really know
where they are,” Gardner said. “Having faith that (the troops) are
okay (is important).”