Rumors of Delay Worry 48th Brigade Families - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/14/06

Rumors of Delay Worry 48th Brigade Families

Families of the 48th Brigade are already on edge waiting for their loved ones to come home. And when a rumor that the soldiers' return would be delayed hit the airwaves this morning, their stress level got even worse.

It turns out that the 48th will be coming home as scheduled, and this isn't the first batch of misinformation that spouses have had to deal with.

Joni Bennett is with the 48th's family readiness group. Her phone started ringing very early this morning. "When they saw something that wasn't quite right, they started calling to check that out."

Bennett says more than 100 family members of 48th Brigade soldiers wanted to know if the rumors were true, that their loved ones weren't coming home anytime soon.

"I'm sure that emotions tend to play with our minds and our logic a little bit," she said. "That's where people like me come in and make calls and send emails saying okay, here's the straight scoop."

The straight scoop is that nothing's changed. The Army says all 4,200 members of the 48th should be home by the end of May. As family readiness coordinator for the 48th, Bennett says she deals with stories like these all the time. Bennett believes modern technology, which allows families to connect with their husbands and wives overseas also connects them to the rumor mill.

"We're so blessed compared to our fathers and grandparents, but unfortunately it also helps to send the rumor mill a little out of control," she said. "So we try to be very diligent about tracking down correct information."

And Bennett wants to make clear where the correct information comes from. "Anything they hear is a rumor unless it comes from an official source."

While there isn't a firm date for the 48th's return, the Army says the brigade will start coming home in mid-April and all 4,200 soldiers should be home by mid-May.

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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