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01-11-07, 11:40 AM
Marine's parents hopeful

The Intelligencer

Ed and Sue Csira of New Britain hope President Bush's new plan for Iraq — including the commitment of more than 20,000 additional troops — works.

They're concerned about the situation over there.

Their son, Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Csira, left Saturday by ship for somewhere in Southwest Asia. His destination could be Iraq, Afghanistan or Djibouti in Africa. Ed Csira thinks it probably will be Iraq, especially since the president announced that 4,000 more Marines will be deployed in violent Anbar Province west of Baghdad.

Joe, a 2004 graduate of Central Bucks West High School, is a rifleman with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. He and his unit spent a seven-month deployment around Fallujah in Anbar Province in 2005 and 2006. The 21-year-old Marine was awarded a Purple Heart Medal during that tour of duty after he was injured by a roadside bomb, what the military calls an improvised explosive device.

Now Joe's battalion is part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit heading back to the Mideast theater of operations.

I joined them and Joe's girlfriend, Stephanie Freedman of Warrington, to listen to the president's address Wednesday night on TV.

“I hope he's right, that it works” said Ed Csira after Bush spoke. “I was pretty skeptical. I don't want us to go in there en masse because my son and many sons would be in increased danger. But I don't want us to pull out en masse either.

“I'm willing to give him a chance, but it sounds like he realizes this is his last chance.”

As for the president's plan to free the military of some previous restrictions in operations, Sue Csira thinks Bush “should have let the Marines and soldiers do it a long time ago. Joe often mentioned about having to fight with their hands tied.

“If they'll now be allowed to go places (where they couldn't go), it'll help.”

Both said they observed a difference in Bush's tone regarding Iraq.

“At least he seems to be listening to others now,” Sue Csira remarked. “He apparently took some of his ideas from others.”

Unlike before, “he's trying to build a consensus,” Ed agreed.

Having experienced their son's first deployment to Iraq, the possibility of his returning to a combat zone doesn't make it any less worrisome.

“You're constantly sitting on pins and needles,” Sue said.

It's especially agonizing to hear on the news a report that “two Marines were killed in Anbar Province,” Ed said. “The Pentagon doesn't release the names until the families are notified, and you worry that a car is going to pull into your driveway to deliver the bad news.”

Having a son in harm's way is a hard experience, the parents agree, “but we're so proud of him, everybody's proud of him.”
Lou Sessinger is a columnist with The Intelligencer. He can be contacted at (215) 957-8165 or at lsessinger@phillyburbs.com.

January 11, 2007 6:07 AM