Nov 102004
Authors: Megan Schulz

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

baseball season.

“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

for him.”

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

family members.

“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,”

Gardner said.

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).”

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