Selma mom waits out emotional days

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2003

Sitting on her front porch with the American flag waving in the evening breeze, Janie Maples looks like a confident mother of three.

But on the inside, the 59-year-old Maples is a bundle of nerves. Her son Stephen &045;&045; a sergeant in the U.S. Army &045;&045; is currently stationed in Kuwait, close to the Iraqi border.

Stephen, 26, helps maintain Apache Longbow anti-tank helicopters that are equipped with more technology and fire power than other Apache models.

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Stephen never wanted to go to war, his mom says, but he’s fulfilling a goal he set when he joined the military.

Stephen was deployed overseas three months ago and since then has only contacted his family a few times.

Maples, a nurse for the Family Medicine Center in Selma, said she has received

one phone call and two letters from her son.

While the pressure of having her son so close to battle has weighed heavily on Maples, the support of friends and family have been tremendous, she said.

As long as her son is in the military, Maples will support President Bush and the war in Iraq. She beams proudly when talk turns to her son and his role defending democracy.

Stephen’s sister, Amber, though also proud, has a slightly different take on the whole matter. She’s grateful her older brother is doing something he loves &045;&045; and not something else she hates.