News

Mission: Possible

By PAT JENKINS

Editor

Linda Page was already feeling lonely and afraid for her son, a Marine stationed in Kuwait who’s awaiting possible war with Iraq. The e-mail she got from him last week added a lump in her throat.

“You think you can get some of the students there to write letters to

people out here saying thanks or whatever if I get you a list of names and addresses?” Cpl. Chris Elmore wrote to his mom, the office manager at Totem Junior High School in Federal Way. He added that some of his fellow servicemen in the Middle Eastern outpost feel forgotten and that mail from the states would be “a big boost in morale.”

Page wrote back with a promise that she’d find some correspondents.

Mission accomplished.

By the middle of this week, about 400 co-workers and students at Totem were ready to write. The “great response” lifted the spirit of Page, who noted that “some of these guys don't have families, and it sounds like most are feeling lonely. It just breaks my heart. My emotions are usually intact, but I'm not handling this very well. They’re kids themselves.”

Her own 20-year-old son has been in Page’s thoughts constantly since he arrived in Kuwait. Her concern doubled this week as Elmore’s wife, Adela, also a Marine corporal, went to Kuwait, too. The couple, who marked their second wedding anniversary Jan. 27 (Elmore sent her flowers and a teddy bear), will be stationed about 20 minutes apart but might not see each other much.

Before leaving, Adela told Page that “care needs to be taken because of the land mines.”

Elmore is a “radio guy” in a communication division. “From what his wife told me, they have a high mortality rate,” Page said.

The son of Donald Elmore and stepson of Tony Sargent attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where his brother, Scott, is a senior. A younger brother, Nathan, attends Star Lake Elementary School.

Page said she’s proud of Chris “for wanting to protect the very core of what it means to be American.” She’s also “proud that he thought not of himself, but the other Marines” when he asked for letters.

Two yellow ribbons are “tied to my tree,” Page said –– one for her military son and one for her daughter-in-law.

“I want Chris and Adela and everyone there to know that we support them, and we want all of them back safely,” Page said.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565 and editor@fedwaymirror.com

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