Mother Of Civilian Contractor Killed in Iraq Speaks Out - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/25/08

Mother Of Civilian Contractor Killed in Iraq Speaks Out

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Less than 48 hours after learning of her son's tragic death, the mother of a civilian contractor kidnapped and killed in Iraq is waiting for her son's return to the states. FBI agents informed Barbara Alexander Sunday night that the body of her son 40-year-old Ronald Withrow had been found.

Withrow was from Roaring Springs which is about 75 miles Northeast of Lubbock. Barbara says she does not want to know how Ronnie died, but she wants people to know what a special person he was.

For the past eleven months she wrote letters to her son in a private notebook. She planned to give them to Withrow when he returned home from Iraq, but now, she knows that will never happen. So, instead she shared her first and final entries with NewsChannel 11.

"I'm missing you more and more each day. Just think in a little over a week you'll be 40. I wish I could bake you a cake," reads Barbara from her private notebook.

This is just one of dozens of entries Ronald J. Withrow will never get the chance to read.

In January 2007 Withrow was taken hostage in Iraq while working with a computer company. Ever since learning of her son's fate Barbara Alexander has written to him daily in a notebook. From day to day events.

"Oh heavens today is voting day Hilary Clinton, Obama, McCain," reads Barbara.

To wishing for her son's computer skills.

"Gosh this laptop has a mind of its own. Why aren't you here to help me?" reads Barbara from another entry.

Each message was written with love and to let her son know he was not forgotten. "Thursday the 13th,  I brought up the Fort Worth Star site. It said about you and the others fingertips being severed. Ronnie I can't imagine your pain. Why did they do it? What do they think it will accomplish? I wish I could take it away for you but I can't," reads Barbara.

Alexander says she knew after Ronnie's severed finger was mailed to U.S. authorities in Baghdad, the outlook was bleak but still she continued to write until this past Sunday.

"With it being Easter weekend I thought Lord of mercy please let it not be my son. But I found out it was. I got the news Sunday at 9:00 p.m.," says Alexander. And just as she had done every day for the past eleven weeks Barbara sat down and wrote, but this time it was good bye.

"I know God's taken you home. He's your Father now. I'm just someone to have taken care of you. It's hard to believe you're gone, but it's in a more peaceful place than here. I'll miss you. Until I see you and this is my last entry. God bless you," reads Alexander.

A fund has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. You can make a donation at the First National Bank in Matador. Barbara is not announcing when funeral services will be held for Ronnie because she wants it to be a private affair.

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