Willard Blue's son left Whiteman Air Force base in Knob Noster, Mo., about two weeks ago, headed for the Middle East.
Blue, a Lawrence resident, has not yet heard from his son, Randall, who is a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. Blue said earlier this week that he was not yet worried about his son, but he is worried about what he considers Lawrence's lack of support for the men and women who have been shipped to the Mideast since the crisis in Kuwait began.
"Driving around town, you don't see any yellow ribbons," Blue said. "You don't see any flags up. You don't see any support. Where are the support groups?
"There's an awful lot of (reservists) in this area who might be going. You'd think Lawrence would get behind them and be supportive of these boys."
BLUE HAS another son in the Air Force, and he is stationed in North Carolina. Blue said there seems to be more support for the U.S. troops in that area.
He drove around Lawrence recently to see if there were many flags up in the city, but he said he didn't see many waving.
Blue served in the Korean War and said he understands what it means to be in the military during times of conflict.
"I understand what it's all about," he said. "It is here. My gosh, we've got so many guys over there. I'd like to see Lawrence get behind these young boys who are going over there."
MEANWHILE, Kansas University officials are trying to find out if there are students in the military who won't be able to make it back for the start of classes. Gary Thompson, director of student records, said KU will hold the students' enrollments so they can keep their schedules.
Thompson said Wednesday that he had heard about four students who had been called overseas and would be unable to start the semester. But he also is concerned about students who may be able to start the semester but who may be called to the Persian Gulf at some time during the fall term.
Dr. Charles Yockey, chief of staff at Watkins Memorial Hospital, is waiting to hear if he will have to leave KU. Yockey has been in the Air Force reserves since April 1985. He said he should know by Monday if he will be called overseas. If called, he would have 24 hours to get to his assignment.
"I'm ready to go," Yockey said.
MIKE CHAPMAN, a physical therapist at Watkins, said he is unsure if he will need to leave campus. He has been in the Navy reserves for two years.
"It's very unsure about who they're talking about when they say `medical personnel.' I'm not at this point anticipating having to go anywhere, especially with this first group," Chapman said, referring to the reservists President Bush called to active duty Wednesday. The Pentagon expects to call up 40,000 reservists by the end of August, an administration official said.
Chapman said he could be called as an individual or be called with his unit, which is based in Topeka.
"I'm prepared to go," said Chapman, who's been at Watkins for six years. "That's something that you always need to keep in mind when you're a drilling reservist."
KU will see a small drop in police protection if Kansas reserve or guard units are activated, campus police Director Jim Denney said. Denney said four of the department's 35 officers are enlisted in various components of the guard and reserves.
"IF ANY OF the Kansas units are called, we'll lose at least two officers," Denney said. "We do intend to support them."
Four Lawrence police officers also are in the guard or reserves, said Chris Mulvenon, police spokesman. None has been called for active duty yet, he said.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Department has only one employee who may be called into service. Dallas Murphy, jail administrator, is on "individual ready reserve" status with the U.S. Army Reserve, meaning that he would not be called up along with a unit.
Murphy said he is prepared to fight, but he doesn't expect to get the call. He said soldiers on individual ready reserve have seldom been activated.
Maj. Joy Moser, public affairs officer for the Kansas National Guard, said that because the Pentagon isn't emphazising a need to activate combat troops, it's unlikely that the two infantry units based at Lawrence's Army National Guard armory would be called to active duty. Those two units have a total of about 190 people, and about 30 percent of those are Kansas University students.
Kathryn Gleeson, acting public affairs officer with the 89th Army Reserve Command in Wichita, said today that the command has not had any word about its units, which includes an Army Reserve detachment in Lawrence.
All reserve units in Kansas and Nebraska are under the 89th Army Reserve Command.