Families Lean On Each Other

Ranae Pool keeps one eye on the TV for the latest news on the impending war and one eye on the three children she takes care of in her Long Beach home. Ranae's husband, Richard, is the Officer In Charge of the 11-08th Army Aviation National Guard Unit.

"I don't wanna see anybody have to go to war. I don't wanna see our guys have to go over and do this. I wish it could have been solved peacefully but I don't believe giving him more time is going to be the answer. I think Saddam has proven he's not gonna do what they want him to do and we're just on borrowed time," she says.

The 11-08th's 71 members shipped out last month, first to New York for training and then to an undisclosed desert site. Staying busy with the kids and her own three helps keep her mind off her husband and the possible danger he faces.

Ranae says, "Between this and my three boys and going to school full time. Weekends are usually the hardest because I don't have the school and the extra kids keepin' me busy. Weekends are really hard."

Pool says the separation on the families is hard too. That's why she's taken it upon herself to stay in touch with all the soldiers' families.

"I think if you don't have someone you can talk to and lean on cause some of these people don't have families here. I'm lucky to have a really good set of friends and my family's just an hour or so away and some people just don't have that."

A yellow ribbon hangs on a tree in the Pool's front yard. Ranae says it will stay there until all the soldiers come home.