East Texas Military Families Form Support Group - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/4/07-East Texas

East Texas Military Families Form Support Group

On the second Tuesday of every month, four East Texas families gather to talk about their feelings and their fears.

"There is no military installation here, there is just no support, and I have really been struggling with feeling isolated with some of my fears," said Kilgore Resident Melanie Poland. 

Poland decided to do something about that.  Using the Military Family page on KLTV 7's web site, Poland found other families going through the same thing she was.

"As soon as we met, we immediately bonded with the common experiences," said Poland. 

All four families have sons serving in the military.  Poland's son Allen Milton, 20, has been fighting in Iraq since September.  The Gonzales' haven't seen their son Arnold Gonzales, 21, for almost a year.  Jan Maxwell,has two son's serving in Iraq, Paul Maxwell, 26, and Gary Decker, 37.  The Osborne's said goodbye to Bearrett Saffel, 19, last year.

"Before the support group, I was going through a very hard time," said Saffel's sister, Krista Osborne.  "Now that we have the support group, I can share those fears and ask people how they are getting through it." 

When confronted with negativity about the war, these families find comfort in each other. And on this Independence Day, despite your beliefs, they ask East Texans to remember our soldiers.  

"The only way we have our independence is because of our military men and women," said Saffel's mother Tammy Osborne. 

"They have to know they have the support from back home, that they are doing it for us, and that's what this country is about," said Maxwell. 

The support group says it's looking for other families to join.  For more information, go to our homepage and click on the Know More on 7 link.  There you will find, East Texas Military Support Group.

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com


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