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Georgia Army wife told husband killed

by Brittany Yap, editor

“The secretary of the Army regrets to inform you that your husband was killed in action.”

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, it’s hard 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 uniform.

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 missing markings 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 their loved 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 their military branch.

“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 can contact.”

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 the incident.

All Americans are involved in the war against terrorism and must be aware that this type of civil terrorism does exist within our community.

“People shouldn’t take advantage of [the situation],” said Nakashima. “We’re already sacrificing a lot by having our loved ones in Iraq.”


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