FNS: Ciudad Juárez Families Worry abo ut Their Sons, Husbands and Brothers at War
- FNS: Ciudad Juárez Families Worry about Their Sons, Husbands and Brothers at War
Date: 3/26/2003 4:55:16 PM Pacific Standard Time
At least three members of the US military stationed in or near Iraq--Oscar Adolfo Gómez Almanza, Enrique Rosalío Carreón Tavares and Benjamín Carrasco González--were born in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, or grew up there, according to an article in the Cd. Juárez newspaper El Diario.
The Gómez Family
Oscar Gómez was born in Cd. Juárez in 1974 but went to California at age twelve where he later became a US citizen. Now married with three children, Gómez is greatly missed by his family.
Since he last spoke with his family in Cd. Juárez, Gómez has not learned that his grandmother died two days after he headed into combat or that his three-year old son, Andrés, broke his arm while jumping on the bed. His older daughter, Claudia, age six, cries all night for her absent father and has insomnia. His younger daughter, Valeria, eight-months old, still suffers from respiratory problems she contracted over the winter.
Isabel, Gómez's wife, said she last spoke with her husband a few days before the US launched its attack on the US. "He only told me not to worry, that he was well, although things were getting ugly . . . " she said. An anti-missile defense operator, Gómez told his wife that he is far from hand-to-hand combat but Isabel is not fully confident in her husband's safety, "This morning I dreamed that they had kidnapped him, I felt very bad, and sometimes I lose hope and I want to run away but I have to survive this."
To help their son deal with the situation, Isabel explained to Andrés that his father had to go to work a long way off, in a different country, but that he would return when his work is done. Three-year old Andrés responded to this by saying that his mother should take his father a car so that he can drive home.
The Carreón Tavares Family
Filomena Tavares cries when she thinks about her son, Enrique Carreón Tavares, the youngest of eleven. Born in Cd. Juárez like the rest of his siblings, Filomena Tavares took her family to the US to find a better life for them. Although she has not spoken to her son since December, she has received news of him through one of her daughters that lives in Los Angeles where Enrique lived before joining the US armed forces.
Weeping as she spoke, Filomena Tavares told El Diario that Enrique should fulfill his commitments to the military as both a man and a soldier. However, she fears that it was her own admiration of government uniforms that led Enrique to join the military. She also told him once that she would like it if he joined the Army.
"I don't think I'm going to see him again . . . Why? Because of how things are going . . . he's very passionate, he said . . . he would be one of the first into combat," Tavares stated.
Despite her bad feelings about her son's future, Tavares says she wants him to return "even if he's missing an arm or a leg, as long as he's alive."
The Carrasco González Family
Although Benjamín Carrasco González was born in El Paso, he grew up in Cd. Juárez, in the Kilómetro 5 neighborhood, according to his brother Javier Carrasco González. Benjamín, age 26, is on the USS Rushmore and left a few weeks before the attack on Iraq began. Left behind in San Diego are Benjamín's wife and two children, Javier Carrasco noted.
About his family's reaction to Benjamín's involvement in the war, Javier stated, "We're pretty calm now because he's on a ship, he won't go ashore, they're on the sea. It's harder for them to be attacked, they're in less danger than those that are in direct combat, although of course there are still risks."
Javier said that he misses his brother's advice and that it seems like he has been gone a long time already. If he could communicate with his brother, Javier would tell him "we are with you and your shipmates, be cautious . . . and return home safely of course."
Source: El Diario, March 26, 2003. Article by Martín Orquiz.
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