The White House and State Department issued another round of warnings Friday to North Korea. The nation continues to threaten missile tests and says it is in a state of war with South Korea.
The saber rattling is particularly unsettling news for the families of the thousands of U.S. military personnel stationed in the Far East.
Michelle Warner frets because her daughter is stationed in Okinawa, Japan, about 900 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone. This is after she already worried while her son, James, 22, fought on the front lines in Afghanistan. Both her children are in the Marine Corps.
“It’s like a low simmer, a low boil all the time,” Michelle described her nerves when her kids are deployed. “Then, every once in a while when you hear about something happening over there, it flares up.”
Opening up about her life as a Marine mom, Warner, says she avoids any news she can about what’s happening on the Korean Peninsula it’s a trick she learned when her son, was in the middle east. “It’s too hard to watch the news, I found myself crying practically every time I’d hear about something bad happening,” Warner said she learned how to avoid hearing reports of fighting overseas. “Otherwise, you just can’t get through the day.”
Warner’s daughter, Lauren, a 23 year old aircraft mechanic, arrived in Okinawa in March and with two kids willing to put their lives on the line for their country- pride comes with another feeling, “It’s terrifying.”
As she browsed through photos on her phone, Warner says talking to her daughter calms her nerves. “She said they’re not worried,” She said the two last talked a few days earlier.
On a trip to Seoul Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a stern warning to North Korea. “The United States will, if needed, defend our allies and defend ourselves,” Kerry said in a press conference.
But the hard line leaves room for peace. “We are prepared to work with the conviction that relations between the north and the south can improve, and they could improve very quickly,” Kerry added.
This is news Warner welcomes because her daughter is stationed in Japan for the next two years. .
“I ride it out and stay in touch and send care packages and do a lot of praying,” she added despite all her worrying she is still a very proud Marine mom.