Two Longview women with sons serving in the U.S. Navy expressed concerns Wednesday that escalating tensions between the United States and Iran could lead to the men’s deployment in the region.
“I just want all young men and women to realize that war is a very real possibility,” said Leisha Kidd-Brooks, whose son, Keelan Pryor, 25, is an aircraft controller serving aboard the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier.
However, Kidd-Brooks and Stacey Brownlee said their sons are serving in non-combat roles. Brownlee said her son, Colton, 18, who is a 2019 graduate of Spring Hill High School, is a seaman recruit undergoing computer training through April at a base in Florida.
Kidd-Brooks, environmental health manager for the city of Longview, and Brownlee, an attorney, used the word “absolutely” to describe fears that the conflict between Iran and the United States could worsen.
The U.S. and Iran stepped back from the brink of possible war Wednesday as President Donald Trump indicated he would not respond militarily after no one was harmed in Iran’s missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing American troops.
Iran launched the missile strikes Tuesday to retaliate against a U.S. drone that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3 in Baghdad. A total of 15 Iranian missiles were fired, U.S. officials said.
Kidd-Brooks said aircraft carriers generally are the safest places to be during military conflicts because they are off shore.
However, she said one of her concerns is lack of communication, with access to email to the aircraft carrier being suspended about a week and a half ago.
She said she last communicated with Pryor, a 2103 graduate of Trinity School of Texas, via email Dec. 26. However, she said his wife, Kisha, a 2013 graduate of Longview High School, spoke to him Saturday from her home in Virginia.
“You don’t know what ocean they are in, how long they are going to be there,” Kidd-Brooks said.
Brownlee said she has learned two truisms about military life.
“No news is good news and the Navy runs on Navy time,” she said.
She said she last spoke to Colton on the phone Monday, adding he tried to reassure her.
“He said, ‘Mom, everything is going to be fine. I’m a member of the greatest navy in the world,’” she said.