October 17, 2006--Posted at 5:30 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR--The internet provides users access to information from around the world, but as one Region 8 family is finding out not all of it is true. A simple search on the internet for news on the 875th Engineer Battalion turned into disturbing announcement for a local family.
"I popped up an article that said my husband has been killed. Of course I was completely devastated, I thought my husband was dead," said Amanda Navarro, wife of Specialist Richard Navarro.
The article was from the newspaper website of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The article was the first news the Navarro family had received concerning Specialist Richard Navarro's death.
"That was the hardest 10 to 12 hours of my life. Thinking but not knowing if my husband is dead or alive. That is the worst feeling you can ever feel or imagine in your life," said Amanda Navarro.
Amanda contacted public affairs for the 875th who were just as surprised as she was about the news. Luckily, the next morning she received word from a reliable source that her husband was not dead.
"It was such a relief. I thank God that my husband called me. Just to hear his voice was like talking to an angel," said Amanda Navarro.
According to Amanda the Sun Sentinel was the only website that reported her husband's death. However, since Sunday the article is no longer posted on the newspapers website.
"I feel in my heart that they owe me an apology for what they put my family through that night," said Amanda Navarro.
The National Guard warns against family members of soldiers searching for information on the web because of unreliable sources. They say if you are looking the latest on a family member, your local National Guard Public Affair Office is the most factual.
"I think it is ok to look at it. I was actually looking to see if I could find some pictures of my husband getting there, maybe some pictures of guys hanging around. But I don't think I am going to get on there again. I definitely don't want to read any mistakes again and I can't go through that again," said Navarro.