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Mother of two soldiers launches support group

March 28, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Lynn Jones said she's sometimes afraid to turn on the television - afraid of the constant scenes of war and afraid of the uncertainty surrounding her two children, both of whom are soldiers in the U.S. Army.

"It's just so scary," Jones said.

On Thursday evening, Jones' 22-year-old son, Kevin Hurlbrink, was on two-hour standby with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., waiting to hear if he would soon be deployed to join those fighting the war in Iraq. If not now, Jones said her son will be sent there at the end of May for six months.

Her 19-year-old daughter, Amy Hurlbrink, is undertaking map and topographical training at Fort Belvoir, Va., where she is a member of the 554th Engineer Battalion. She was to find out this week where she'll be stationed after she completes her training on May 29.

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Jones said her daughter, if sent to Iraq, would be deployed with large infantry units to provide topographical support.

Jones said she prays for the strength to deal with her situation, but she knows the fate of her children is out of her hands.

"Not knowing sometimes is the hardest," Jones said. "God will take care of my children, and hopefully everyone else's.

In an attempt to help people cope, Jones is setting up a support group for those who have loved ones in the military, whether in Iraq or elsewhere.

"We're all trying to get through this together," Jones said. "I just think there's a real need for that, especially now."

The first meeting of the support group is to be held next Thursday at 7 p.m. at the parish hall at St. James Catholic Church on Ford and Main streets in Boonsboro.

Jones said the support group will provide families with an outlet to discuss their concerns and needs and how they feel about having loved ones in the military.

The group might put together care packages for those stationed away from home, she said.

"Hopefully we're going to have a pretty good turnout," Jones said.

She said she hopes the group will show service men and women that their families are thinking of them.

"I just want them to know we're there," said Jones. "God speed to the troops. I hope everyone comes home safe and sound, and I'm really proud of them all."

Jones has asked that anyone with questions about the group contact her at 301-432-4979.

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