Reservists in area await call

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Tammy Khounlavong doesn't want to have to tell her three children that Mommy may be going to fight a war.

The South Point resident and 12-year Army reservist may be one of many

who may have to answer the country's call.

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According to a

release from the United States Department of Defense yesterday, any military solution against Saddam Hussein will likely draw heavy support from Army Reserve officers and the National Guard. The reason for this is because so many critical skills are found in these services.

"I'm ready to go if needed," Khounlavong said. "But, I am worried about my kids."

Trooper Paul Isgett of the Ironton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a 7-year Navy reservist,

is also ready.

"I said I would support and defend the Constitution of the United States," he said. "If they call me, I'll go."

Khounlavong's 1-year-old daughter Madeline was born Sept. 9, 2001, two days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She was still in the hospital as the news unfolded and was activated that day. Because she had just given birth, she was given time to recover. Her unit, the West Virginia Army Reserves Medical Unit 676 in Kenova, W.Va., was deactivated before she had to go on duty.

During her summer guard duties, Khounlavong's husband, Song, takes care of their children. He said he will be able to handle taking care of the children if Tammy is sent overseas.

"It comes with the territory," he said.

Khounlavong has not went overseas for duty yet, but some of her colleagues have. In fact, 15 of them are overseas now. She has not been told where they are.

"I won't get the full effects of it unless I (see) it," she said.

Isgett is also married with an 18-year-old daughter. He said his family would rather not think about him going overseas, but they are prepared. His supervisors at the Patrol are also supportive, giving him time to attend his monthly drills.

Isgett did spend time in Bahrain while the United States was bombing Afghanistan.

"There was some anti-American graffiti there, but we were treated well," he said.

E-5 Sgt. Khounlavong said her daughter Eryn, 8, and her son Ryan, 5, are proud of her serving in the military.

"I love America," Eryn said.

"What's a war?" Ryan asked. "Maybe you can go and bring back a golden medal or a trophy," he told his mother.

Then, he saluted her.