Military Mobilizations Affect Stateline Residents

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The number of reservists called to active duty is swelling, with many joining in the buildup for a possible war with Iraq.

Wednesday alone, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps announced that nearly 16,000 National Guard and Reserves have been activated.

Many reservists hold critical positions in our community, and their expertise would be difficult to replace.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out why the military would want Doctor Charles Wright. He has experience as a pilot, he's preformed thousands of surgeries, and he's one of only dozen Air Force trained neurosurgeons.

"I have to believe deep in my heart there is information that has not been released that supports cocking the hammer of the gun and the way we're mobilizing all of our forces," said Dr. Wright.

As President Bush presented his case for war with Iraq in the State of the Union Address, Doctor Wright listened with mixed emotions.

"I don't know anyone sane who wants to have combat or have a war occur. But if I'm going to ask them to go and get shot up on my behalf or on behalf of my country, I think it's perfectly reasonable for me to provide care for them," Dr. Wright said.

The doctor doesn't know if he'll be called to duty but members of his neurosurgery team at of St. Anthony's say the community will miss his expertise.

Dr. Wright is one of only a handful of neurosurgeons in Rockford, but he's confident if called to duty that his partners could pick up the slack.