Military families supportive, confident

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 9, 2001

News Editor

The thought of war strikes fear in the hearts and minds of families and friends, and this new war is no different.

Since the United States began bombing Afghanistan Sunday as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom family members have worried their biggest fears would become reality.

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Sheila Collins of Troy, whose husband Quentin is stationed in Montgomery with the Air Force 187th Fighter Wing Unit, is one of those people, but having been there before has made her a little less apprehensive.

"We were in the Gulf War so we kind of know what to expect," Collins said.

Quentin Collins, 33, a jet mechanic, has been in the service since he was 18, and has served in the Army, Navy and now the Air Force.

Collins has not been activated like some of the other members of the 187th Fighter Wing Unit, but is on standby.

Mrs. Collins said she knew going to war was a possibility when she married her husband.

"When I married him I agreed to this, and as his wife I know what it entails," she said. "I know he could be called up and when the country calls I have to be supportive. I just pray for his safety."

Mrs. Collins is not the only one who has been affected by the possibility of her husband going to war. Kimberly Collins is an eighth grader at Charles Henderson Middle School, and Mrs. Collins said her daughter hopes her dad won’t have to go to war.

"She had a really hard time during the Gulf War," Mrs. Collins said. "She cried a lot and wanted her dad to come home. But this time she is older and understands a little better and she just prays that he won’t have to go."

Mrs. Collins still doesn’t know when and if her husband will be called to serve is country in the new war, but she said she will understand if he has to go.

"I don’t know if he will have to go and we won’t know if he’ll stay here to protect the base," Mrs. Collins said. "We won’t really know if he’ll be going until we get the call."

Mary Shirley’s son Cpl. Adam Shirley is stationed in Hawaii. She said she feels sure he won’t see any action anytime soon, but he is ready and willing.

"They are ready to go and ready to do what they have to do," Shirley said. "They stand behind the president 100 percent."

Shirley, who talks with her son everyday, hasn’t worried about her son more than any other parent would.

"I feel like he is with people who know what they are doing," she said. "He has done well. He’s been in the Marines for three years this month and he loves it. He is the platoon leader and he has earned my confidence."