Soldiers' Families React to Saddam's Capture - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/14/03 - Smith County

Soldiers' Families React to Saddam's Capture

As people celebrate in the streets of Iraq, East Texans are feeling the excitement as well, now that Saddam Hussein has been captured. Families with loved ones serving in the armed forces say they have a sense of relief.

"I was just thrilled to death," Tim Wiederstein, of Tyler, said. "It was almost like Christmas."

Wiederstein has two sons and three nephews in the military. All of them have fought in Iraq since the war began.

"When the soldiers found him this morning with pockets full of American money, well, 'In God We Trust' got him," Wiederstein said. "He's going to pay."

Patti Roberts and her family have been following the news throughout the day in Whitehouse. The couple's older son, Matt, is currently at an air force base in North Carolina, but will return to Iraq the week after Christmas.

"I talked to my son just for a couple of minutes about noon and asked him if they were celebrating," said Roberts. "And he said, yeah, they were, they were all glued to the TV."

Roberts says she worries about Matt, but now feels things will change.

"I feel a little more comfortable with him going back," Roberts said. "I feel like it will be a little safer for him and the other troops now, hopefully."

President Bush made it clear today that American soldiers and civilians still face danger in Iraq. But soldiers' families hope yesterday's successful raid will at least boost morale for U.S. troops.

"I think now those soldiers go over there and have the attitude that they're doing something good for the country to help people become safe, help people get free," Wiederstein said.

Both families hope critics of the war will now back the effort of coalition forces.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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