U.S. POW Asks for Prayers in Letter
Apr. 29, 1999
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ An American soldier held captive for a month by Yugoslav forces said in a letter to his relatives back home that he ``placed his trust in God'' and asked for their prayers.
``He was worried about how we were doing and wanted us to know how much he loved and missed us,'' the family of Spc. Steven B. Gonzales said in a statement released by the Army on Wednesday.
An International Red Cross official delivered the letter to the family on Tuesday after visiting Gonzales and two other soldiers who were captured along the Macedonia-Kosovo border March 24.
The family had no plans to release the letter. Their statement said Gonzales, a former Texas A&M University student, has not lost his optimism.
``He has placed all his trust in God. He wanted us to say thanks to everybody for their thoughts and prayers and to keep sending those prayers,'' the statement said. ``He sounded hopeful about his future and talked about being reunited with us and returning to A&M.''
Also held are Staff Sgt. Andrew A. Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles and Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone, 25, of Smiths Creek, Mich.
The Red Cross hopes to visit the captives at least once a week, Army spokesman Jim Wittmeyer said. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and a delegation of religious leaders also plan to meet with the captured soldiers this week.