Friday, October 30, 2009

Supporting loved ones serving in Afghanistan

"Massive explosions and constant gunfire continue to ring out in the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. (View Video)
Officials say several people were killed in the latest round of violence, including six United Nations staff members. Earlier this week, eight U.S. servicemen were killed after dozens of others in recent weeks.
This makes October the deadliest month on record for U.S. troops since the war began. This level of violence hasn't been witnessed since the aftermath of 9/11."
It's been eight years and President Obama is said to be considering sending more troops to the region. In the meantime, local families with loved ones serving in Afghanistan are coming together.
They say now is when our troops need our prayers and support the most.
The images on television are hard to avoid: escalating violence in Afghanistan, eight more American troops killed Tuesday - 55 total in just the last few weeks.
Blue Star Mom Dorothy Fusco has endured this sort of thing before. Her son Anthony is a First Sergeant in the army; he's on his sixth trip to the war zone, his third to Afghanistan. And now Anthony is married to First Lieutenant Melissa, who is serving there as well.
"She deployed in May and he deployed in August. It is difficult to hear that there are casualties but you have to learn to deal with it. And we support each other and we pray a lot."
While the Fuscos try to avoid the images, they do stay current on the issues and the politics; they both favor sending more troops to the region.
"I don't know why we're hesitating," says Richard Fusco, Anthony's father. "We're going to wait for some more to get killed. Maybe if they had more troops these eight wouldn't have gotten killed (Tuesday)."
The Fuscos' spare room is a workshop of sorts, where care packages and supplies are assembled. One batch in particular is intended for shipment right before the holidays.
"They need to have that contact to see that life is normal. Not everything is bombs and bullets."
The Fuscos keep in touch with both Anthony and Melissa via the Internet but communications are limited. For security reasons, the Fuscos don't always know exactly where Melissa and Anthony are located.
But what they do know is that they're almost always in harm's way. Anthony has already received three Bronze Stars for bravery.
Blue Star Mothers is a national, non-political support network for U.S. troops. If you're interested in donating or helping with care packages, log on to

Supporting loved ones serving in Afghanistan:

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