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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Family Members of Rescued POW Hold Press Conference

Aired April 15, 2003 - 15:58   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now we'll take you live to Lithia Springs, Georgia. You'll know the faces of these two, Kaye and Ron Young, the parents of Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Young, the Apache pilot who became a prisoner of war but is now on his way home.
(CROSSTALK)

RONALD YOUNG SR., FATHER OF EX-POW: Yes, this kind of...

(CROSSTALK)

R. YOUNG: One recommendation, and it's somebody recommended something else, so it's kind of like a tug of war, you know, and...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

KAYE YOUNG, MOTHER OF EX-POW: Walter Reed or Fort Hood.

R. YOUNG: Walter Reed or Fort Hood, or -- and I'm not...

K. YOUNG: Those are the two we've heard of.

R. YOUNG: He said there were more choices than that, so I don't know. He didn't make -- elaborate.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

R. YOUNG: No. They said for the fact that their concern was their help and their mental attitude. He said that even if you're a POW just for a short period of time, there is a decompression time, and at times that they're going to feel things that we don't understand, you know, that has happened with all the POWs.

QUESTION: Obviously both of you and the entire family will play a pivotal role also in helping Ron Jr. readjust. Did you get some coaching today and if so, what sort of material did they cover, please?

R. YOUNG: Well, they said to not just rush in there and do everything for him. Let him make decisions on his own.

K. YOUNG: And to give him some time. Let him do things on his own agenda. As he feels like doing it and just be supportive, which we would be. And, you know, just to take things easy.

QUESTION: Will he be able to stay at home and visit or will he ...

K. YOUNG: If they take him to ...

R. YOUNG: I think eventually.

K. YOUNG: ... to Fort Hood, he may be kind of indoctrinated again there to maybe go back for a short period and then be given leave, or something. That was an option. They may let him go ahead and have leave. We just don't know.

QUESTION: Have they indicated who all can go to see him when he comes back stateside?

K. YOUNG: The family can go.

R. YOUNG: No, that was up in the air too. They didn't know if it was the mother and father or if its mother, and father and siblings.

K. YOUNG: Fort Hood, everybody can go.

R. YOUNG: It just depends on where they let him go to.

QUESTION: Aren't you a little disappointed with the timeline you heard today?

K. YOUNG: No.

R. YOUNG: I am.

K. YOUNG: Oh, you are?

R. YOUNG: Yes, I was hoping he'd be home a little sooner. But I know he's OK and all that. So, the fact is that I've got to go back to work, if it's going to be long like this. I was hoping that, you know, I'd be able to -- we could bring him over here, and I wouldn't have to worry about going back to work until I knew how he was.

QUESTION: Could you just briefly recap what it is that they told you about how soon it is that your son will be back home, what the possibilities are?

K. YOUNG: They said probably by the end of the week, unless something else changes. But they said things change often in the army.

R. YOUNG: And they said that what's the truth today may not be the truth tomorrow. So it's just, I don't know.

K. YOUNG: But they are -- I think that's probably what will happen. And the thing is, whether they should take him to Walter Reed, which would be more secluded. It would probably be -- Ronnie and I and maybe just our four children, four other children, and maybe not even their husbands or whatever. But if it's Fort Hood, everybody would be able to go.

QUESTION: Have they given you any indication what he's going through right now?

R. YOUNG: They say that they are working a lot with him to debrief the situation, and to gain any kind of information they can from him and things like that.

K. YOUNG: They just talk to him to make sure ...

R. YOUNG: To make sure that - I guess -- I'm not exactly sure. I would say, the word I would pick is maybe that they are traumatized, maybe to make sure that they are not traumatized. And we'll give them some time to be able to talk to them. They've got somebody that's assigned to them to work it through it.

QUESTION: Did they give you any indication ...

QUESTION: The logistical situation that they talked about today, did they also give you some new information just about how he is doing, in general, and ...

R. YOUNG: No.

K. YOUNG: They have not seen him.

R. YOUNG: They have not seen him. They said they are in good hands, because it's the same people from that staff there.

QUESTION: Does it look like he's going to be able to make another phone call or he'll be able to call you before ...

K. YOUNG: I told him I would love to have another phone call.

R. YOUNG: I did hope that, yes.

QUESTION: How anxious are you to get your arms around him, and how much more difficult is this wait than, you know, you didn't know?

K. YOUNG: It's not for me.

R. YOUNG: It's not difficult at all. I mean, this is the easy wait. We know he's all right. He's taken care of.

K. YOUNG: If it's a week, if it's five days, that's fine with me. I'm a very patient person. And my husband is not real patient, but, just so he's -- I'm getting back at him for yesterday. Just so we know he's okay. And we want him to have the treatment he needs, if he needs to maybe talk to a psychologist or needs some time to himself, whatever he needs is what we want.

PHILLIPS: A lot of patience and a lot of excitement. Kay and Rob Young know both of those feelings quite well. Ron Young, the Apache pilot, as you know, was taken as a prisoner of war, hopefully, back in his parents' arms by the end of the week.

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