At least two Southeast Missouri families praying for their sons in Iraq received a welcome answer last week: They're OK.
An Associated Press photographer traveling with the U.S. Army's A Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines took two pictures in two days of Southeast Missouri soldiers, and the AP sent those pictures around the world.
The first one was of Pfc. Joshua Butler. His mother, Kathy James of Jackson, was almost 100 percent sure she saw him in another photo before, but he wasn't identified in the caption. In the second, there was his name for all to read. He was sitting with perfect posture in a chair that was once Saddam Hussein's, guarding a presidential palace. His mother cried to learn he was OK.
The next day, the family of Spc. Chad Prindle of Oran saw his picture on the Internet. The young sniper was taking aim at Iraqi forces firing on American troops. "It was just unreal," said his mother, Kitty Prindle, who sent copies to practically everyone she knows.
These families, who have supported their sons in an effort to protect America and free a faraway country, deserved such reassuring moments plus all the support we can give them.
It's a sign of our technological times that news photos from the battlefront are providing not just reports on war, but providing families at home with much appreciated updates on those who are in uniform.