The War In Iraq Gets Personal

Down a dirt road in rural Kansas, when President Bush spoke today of the number of American service members killed in Iraq, each of those numbers had a name, CBS News national correspondent Byron Pitts reports.

"My son died in a country that I have no idea, really, why we're even there," Diana Unger says.

Her son, Cpl. David Unger of Leavenworth, Kan., was married to his high school sweetheart and was the father of two kids — including a baby just 20 months old. He had a mom, a stepdad, two brothers and a l3-year-old sister who adored him.

"It's different for every person to handle," says Jeremy Unger, David's brother, with tears on his face. "He was my older brother. I looked up to him a lot. It's just hard."

And it was also hard, they said, listening to President Bush this morning.

When the president said he understood how tough the Iraq battle was, some of Unger's family had a physical reaction.

"Unless he puts his daughters over there and he has that real fear everyday of not wanting to turn on the television, that fear that gets into your heart and your head, he can't fathom what that means," Diana says.

Fear and loss have deep meaning across the country tonight. The Pentagon has released the names of scores of American soldiers killed in Iraq this month. They came from 29 states and Puerto Rico, from Derek Jones of Salem, Ore., to Nicholas Arvanitis of Salem, N.H. Most were 25 or younger.

Unger's family is filled with memories of the son they loved. "My favorite pictures is ... the snapshot when he was three years old," his family says, looking at photos.

At this hour, the body of U.S. Army Cpl David Unger is arriving at the Kansas City Airport. He'll be buried Friday, four days before his 22nd birthday.

  • Melissa McNamara

Comments

Follow Us