These are words that no Army wife ever wishes to hear. For
every branch of the service, no spouse or parent ever wants
to hear that their loved one is dead.
In these times, military families spend
their days living by the evening news, hoping their loved one
was not a victim in
another suicide bomber attack or hostile fire. A phone ringing
can be haunting. A knock on the door even worse.
Two men dressed in uniform, standing outside,
are like bullets piercing the heart. Grief overwhelms the body,
to breathe, and all hope for the future is ripped away. The
world, as it was, no longer exists.
On Feb. 22, a man at Fort Stewart, Ga.,
wearing a U.S. Army dress uniform, told the wife of a soldier
that her husband
had been killed in action. It was a malicious hoax, according
to the Associated Press.
As if these military wives don’t have
enough to be worried about, this man takes it upon himself
to make their lives even
worse. Officials werenot sure whether he was an officer or
a civilian dressed in uniform.
It is a federal offense to impersonate an officer,” said
Lt. Col. Daniel Culver. “It doesn’t matter whether
you’re in the military or a civilian.”
According to Culver, people doing this are
violating a number of state and two federal laws. Civilian
offenders can be
fined or imprisioned for up to six months for wearing a military
The second federal offense is impersonating an officer
and punishment can be jail tie of up to three years.
Fortunately, the wife in Georgia noticed
something was not right. The uniform the man was wearing was
and a nametag. He also came to the house alone. The Army
always sends at least two people to do the job.
There have also been reports that families
of military personnel deployed to the Middle East are getting
prank phone calls
from people saying they are from the Red Cross, and that
one was killed in action. This is just another form of terrorism.
If that ever happened to me, I would call the Rear-Detachment
Office (RDO),” said Army wife Darlene Nakashima. “I
already told Sgt. Yokoyama, the Rear-Detachment officer,
that I want to see his face if anything happens to my husband.”
Military families can avoid confusion and
unnecessary pain by finding out the correct procedures for
“Family members should contact their RDO if they have
any questions or concerns,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Yokoyama. “Usually,
the casualty assistance officer can provide a document of official
orders and a number families
Even though these pranksters may sound official
and act the part, don’t
be fooled. The Army never makes death notifications over the telephone,
and they always send more than one person to do the job.
The Red Cross urges family members receiving
fraudulent calls to dial a special toll-free number, (888)
309-9679, and report
All Americans are involved in the war against
terrorism and must be aware that this type of civil terrorism
within our community.
“People shouldn’t take advantage of [the situation],” said
already sacrificing a lot by having our loved ones in Iraq.”