The Violence in Iraq Hits Home - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/23/06

The Violence in Iraq Hits Home

The Mann family from a previous interview. The Mann family from a previous interview.

The violence this month in Iraq is definately hitting home for many military families in our area. While it's a scary time in Iraq right now, one military spouse said this deployment seems better than past deployments.

Marisa Mann keeps busy tending to her patients at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and keeping up with her 14-month-old son, Michael Junior. But her mind is never far from her husband, HM1 Michael Mann, who's serving in Iraq.

"I know it's hard but you've got to keep thinking to yourself, they will be home soon, they will come home safe," said Marisa.

October has been one of the deadliest months for American forces in Iraq and concern for her husband's safety weighs heavily on Marisa's mind.

"In the back of your head, there's always worry," she said. "But I know they're over there doing their job, they're doing a great job. They have a mission they've set out to do and they're doing it."

Marissa is proud of her husband and what he's doing overseas.

"He says he's staying busy, which is good cause I know he's helping people," said Marisa.

We caught up with them two months ago, just before he left with his squadron.

"Today is a hard day," said HM1 Michael Mann with Marine Wing Support Squadron 273. "The first time I'm leaving my son for a long period of time, but I have a job to do. I fully, truly believe in this effort we're putting in over there."

This isn't the first deployment the Mann's have been through. This is Michael's third trip to Iraq since the war began and its easier for her to handle this time thanks to improved communication.

"When you go without talking for awhile that's where you start to wander what's going on, but with constant communication," said HM1 Michael Mann. "It's been really positive."

"For me, knowledge is better and being able to communicate with my husband and being able to know what's going on and keeping informed that helps me tremendously in keeping sane."

With every email, Marisa is counting the days till her husband's safe return.

"We X out each day on the calendar," said Marisa. "It's one day closer."

Michael Mann and the rest of his squadron with Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 should be home sometime in February or March. Marisa says at the beginning of the war it took three or four weeks to get a letter to her husband and now she can talk with him through email on a daily basis.

She also says before her husband left, he video-taped himself reading books so his son could see him and now every night before bedtime, he watches them.

Nearly a thousand Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort are deployed in Iraq.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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