Local Mother Not Forgetting Warrior Son

June 18, 2003
Posted at: 10:23 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- At least 50 coalition troops have been killed since President Bush declared "major combat" in Iraq to be over. One Region 8 mother says that she is more concerned for her son's safety now than when the conflict was raging.

The recent rash of deadly attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq is being blamed on a loose knit group of Ba'ath party loyalists. Of the 50 killed, 2 have come this week.

"We still have men and women who are fighting and who face danger everyday," said Ida Esh't, whose son David is serving in Iraq. "I think we as Americans should remember that until all of our soldiers are home."

David Esh't has been deployed since February. Ida Esh't says recent news of soldiers being killed this week have really hit home.

"I received a phone call last night from a friend who said that someone in the 101st (Airborne) brigade was killed," she said. "The only thing I could say was, 'Well no one's come to my door yet,' and it makes my heart cry for that parent. It could be me and I don't know."

Esh't says soldiers need continued American support because every foreign encounter could cost them their lives.

"The dangers right now are the snipers because you don't know who is and who isn't so you have to always be on guard," Esh't said. "I think it's real important that we keep them in the forefront of our thoughts and prayers."

One source of comfort for Esh't has been pictures of David and his company published in newspapers.

"His picture was found by his Father in Miami," Esh't said. "It was just wonderful to see David to know he was alive."

Ida Esh't says that David has been writing letters, promising that he will be home soon. Until then, she says she doesn't want any soldier to be left behind.