POW Families In Shock, Disbelief

Anecita Hudson wipes tears from her eyes while sitting with her son, Anthony, as she talks about her other son, Army Spc. Joseph Hudson (in photograph she's holding at right), Sunday, March 23, 2003, in Alamogordo, N.M. AP

They are the grim faces of this new war, the first American POWs -- injured men and women forced to do interviews with Iraqi Television. They haven't been seen since the tape was first broadcast by the Arab News Channel Al Jazeera.

As CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, Joseph Hudson's mother didn't even know he was in Iraq until she turned on her television.

"I was so glad and worried that I saw my son being interviewed because this only meant one thing -- he's still standing and alive," says Anecita Hudson.

There are five known POWs from the Army's lightly armed 507th Maintenance Company mechanics and repair crews based at Ft. Bliss, in El Paso, Texas. The unit took a wrong turn during fighting around an-Nasiriyah and was ambushed.

Even wounded, Edgar Hernandez was forced to talk, as was Shoshana Johnson, who joined the Army as a cook. Her family has special fears for her safety.

"She's a lone female. I don't know where she will be in respect to the fellows. I do know that in a country such as that, that women are treated differently," says Margaret Thorne Henderson, Johnson's aunt.

Patrick Miller told the Iraqis he was, in his words, just there to fix stuff. His family, back in Kansas, still can't believe he was captured.

"It tore me up inside. I didn't think it could be my brother, but it was," said his sister Kimberly Miller.

"It's still hard for me to believe out of all the soldiers over there, just a handful, that he was in it," says Thomas Hershberger, whose brother was captured.

Jeffrey Fox knows what the captured Americans are in for. He was a POW during the first Gulf War.

"You were just sitting on a chair, handcuffed and blindfolded, where they would just come up and beat you up, and that's when my right eardrum was broken," describes Fox.

While she is glad to see her son alive, Anecita Hudson is hoping her son will come to no harm.

"I hope the president of the United States will do something about the people that has been captured. I want him to get them out," she says.

The White House and the Pentagon today promised POW families everything possible is being done to get the prisoners home, warning that those who mistreat Americans will be considered war criminals.
  • Sue Chan

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter