Marine Wives Club - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/10/03

Marine Wives Club

The war coverage has kept most Americans tied to their television sets for three weeks now, but for the families of our men and women overseas, the TV is a kind of lifeline to their loved ones. Those experiencing the waiting and wondering about what they've been watching say only they can truly understand it.

NewsChannel 11's Ashley Stacy sat down with a few marine wives that have found support in each other.

They call themselves the Marine Wives Club, and they have all been going through the same thing, down to the second their husbands left January 27th. Now these five women have formed a bond, turning to each other for support during the war.

It looks like another Wednesday night at a Lubbock restaurant, but for these ladies and their children, it's about coping, helping each other and surviving the unknown.

They meet, to talk about their husbands and the war, for as long as they want to talk about it, to people that truly understand their feelings.

"It's been wonderful, I don't know what I'd do without them, their great support we know what each others going through, we'd call everyday, we e-mail everyday and we have our dinner dates and its just great to have that support," Sondra Perez, husband Joe Overseas said.

Support while the men in their lives are gone. Betsy Stiles awaits the safe return of her fiancé' Jeffrey Ross.

"Before he left he was like I'm coming home, I'll see you in six months and he's so upbeat in his letters, it's almost like he's a kid at summer camp it sounds like he's having a great time, and I know he's just trying not to worry me, its just him knowing he's ok is really what keeps me going," Betsy Stiles said.

Rachel Rodriguez tries to help her kids Tony and JessyeRaye get through the highs and lows until husband and father Jesse comes home.

"We have good days, bad days, the worst was that Sunday when the war got so bad," Rachel Rodriguez said.

"I'm proud of him, I always thought he was the coolest dad and now I know he is," daughter JessyeRaye said.

Mindy Guerra has cried many tears too. She worries most about helping her 17-month-old daughter Victoria understand where daddy JoJo is.

"The hardest part for me is my daughter. Because I feel bad for her, her and my husband are inseparable, we have pictures all over the house she'll go by and say 'Momma, DaDa' and she'll hold the picture and kiss it and its hard because they were so close and I just can't wait for that moment for them to be back together," Mindy Guerra said.

Being together is something Hendi Gunter can't wait for either. Not hearing her husband Clay's voice has been one of longest silences she's had to bear.

"It's been three and a half weeks since I've heard from him and that's the longest I've ever gone without talking to him," Hendi Gunter said.

So now these ladies have each other. A support system that makes the sad times easier to get through, and the good times as sweet as they can be. A wedding anniversary, and a few birthdays have come and gone without their loved ones...who have also forged friendships so many miles away.

"All of our husbands are good about finding each other, cause they'll say I saw Jeffery or I saw Clay," Gunter said.

Five different ladies, with five different lives, until now all facing their biggest obstacle, and keeping a common hope among them.

"Just knowing that he's going to be home soon and I'm just so ready for that day when he'll be home," Perez said.

The ladies are all hoping to hear from their husbands soon, they hope the war is almost over and the men will be home this summer.

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