May 2003

A father's plight | Focus

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A father's plight

by Ambika Puniani Bailey
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"Kevin called from Kuwait two days before the war started and said once they moved into Iraq, he wouldn't be able to contact us at all, maybe for months at a time. We haven't heard from him since. As parents, not knowing what he is doing or where he is, we can only fear he is experiencing the worst of what we have been seeing on TV," says Rusty Griffiths, former NRCA president and president of Binghamton Slag Roofing Co., Binghamton, N.Y.

Unlike those of us who have been scanning newspapers for news about the war with Iraq, Griffiths has been scouring newspapers for information about his son Kevin, a Marine stationed in Iraq, and Kevin's comrades.

As any father would be, Griffiths is fraught with emotions ranging from pride to fear to anxiety. He recently wrote to his local newspaper about what he and his wife are experiencing. Excerpts from his letter follow:

"Having our own flesh and blood involved has brought our emotions to a much higher level than my wife and I would ever be experiencing otherwise. Those emotions have run from extreme lump-in-the-throat, tears-in-eyes highs to stomach-churning,...

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Full version of Rusty Griffith's letter

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