Military Families Still Worry After Iraqi Elections

Millions of Iraqis went to the polls on Sunday to vote in their country's first free election in 50 years. With the all the tension leading up to the elections over, many are hoping the violence will now begin to die down.

We went to Hinesville and spoke with many families who have soldiers deployed in Iraq. They are relieved the elections are over, but many are still not satisfied, and not very optimistic. They say just because the election is over doesn't stop them from worrying any less about their deployed soldiers.

Military spouse Melissa Bower has enough on her mind. "It's tough," she told us.

Even going grocery shopping with her two sons is now a huge ordeal. On top of that, she's five months pregnant. To make matters worse, her husband has been deployed to Iraq during one of the most historic yet violent times since the war began.

"It's scary," she said. "I don't get much sleep at night. I'm afraid I'll get one of those letters that he was injured or killed."

Melissa had every right to worry. Insurgents made good on their threats killing at least 31 Iraqis on election day.

Those are the numbers that also scare Michelle Kaspryzycki, who is four months pregnant. Her husband is also in Iraq. "I'm nervous if something happens to him," she said.

These are the fears many Third Infantry families were facing weeks leading up to the election. But now that the elections are over, do these families feel any safer? Most we spoke with say no.

"Yeah, the election is over, but there are still bombs going on, there are still roadside bombs," said Melissa.

"Knowing that there's bombing going on at all times, it's just very frustrating for all of us in the family," said Grace Salman, whose brother is in Iraq.

The country remains under a state of emergency, and coalition forces are on alert for possible post-election insurgent attacks.

"Well, I really won't feel better until he returns back home," said John Roberts, dad of a deployed soldier.

"He's still in danger no matter what," said Grace Salman. "He's out there."

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com