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Families Await Word From Loved Ones in the Gulf

January 17, 1991

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ Ashle Sheree Handy kept her mother out of war, but she couldn’t do the same for her father.

Ashle, 6 pounds, 10 ounces, was born at Woman’s Hospital Tuesday.

Ashle’s mother, Monica Handy, would have been in Saudi Arabia with the 321st Materiel Management unit, an Army Reserve supply unit from Baton Rouge, if she hadn’t been pregnant.

Ashle’s father, Charlie Handy, has been in the desert since September, waiting for war and for his wife to give birth. Within hours both happened.

Handy learned about the birth when he called home Wednesday morning.

″We talked for about 20 minutes,″ his wife said. He was ″real surprised.″

Monica Handy, 21, is an administrative specialist in the supply unit. Her husband, 20, is a draftsman.

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THOMASTON, Ga. (AP) - CNN correspondent John Holliman’s parents were watching on television Thursday when Iraqi officials cut off their son’s live reports from Baghdad.

″He is in imminent danger. An accident might happen. The Iraqis might take him, somebody might shoot him, any number of things might happen,″ said John Holliman Sr., a retired attorney.

″I’d like for him to come on out, come back home and get out of there,″ the elder Holliman said.

″We’ll try to get back to you as soon as we can,″ Holliman said from Baghdad just before the telephone link was severed about 11 a.m. He has been giving eyewitness accounts of the siege along with fellow correspondent Peter Arnett and CNN anchor Bernard Shaw.

The elder Holliman, recently released from a hospital after treatment for a throat problem, said he and his wife, Arva, have watched the news coverage nearly non-stop since Wednesday.

″My wife slept a little on sofa. ... I slept a little bit, but not much,″ he said.

Mrs. Holliman said her son, an 11-year veteran of CNN, had planned to come home Thursday, but the fighting changed his plans.

″He was supposed to get out before anything started,″ she said. ″Now I don’t know when it will be.″

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LONGMEADOW, Mass. (AP) - Retired Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., whose youngest son is fighting in the Middle East, said ″my emotions are mixed″ about the outbreak of war in the Persian Gulf.

″From the standpoint of my country, I deeply believe we are doing right,″ he said Wednesday night from his daughter’s home. ″But we have a son and brother there and I have a lot of personal worries.″

Zumwalt, 70, commanded U.S. Navy operations in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970 and then served as Chief of Naval Operations until his retirement in 1974.

Zumwalt’s son, James, a member of the Marine Corps reserve, volunteered to return to active duty in the Middle East. The younger Zumwalt, a Virginia attorney and Vietnam veteran, was ″on his way to the front lines″ when the family heard from him three days ago, the admiral said.

Zumwalt’s eldest son, Elmo R. Zumwalt III, also a Vietnam veteran, died of cancer that the family blamed on his exposure to defoliants during the war.

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - A couple hastily assembled family and friends at a last-minute wedding before the groom was scheduled to be sent to the Persian Gulf.

Christopher Minney, 22, an Army reservist, and Melonie Walter, 19, were married in a brief ceremony Wednesday, three hours before U.S. warplanes began bombing Iraqi targets.

Minney was notified Tuesday that his unit is being called to active duty. He was scheduled to report to an Army facility in Lakewood Thursday, and will be shipped out to an unknown destination on Sunday.

″In case he dies, I’ll know I married the man I’ve wanted to spend the rest of my life with,″ said the bride.

The couple had planned to marry eventually. But Walter wanted to finish college first, and they probably would have waited for a few years had it not been for the war, she said.

The couple said they plan to have the big wedding they always dreamed of when Minney returns.

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