Father of Marine Slain In El Salvador Calls For Retaliation With PM-Salvador-Violence Bjt
Undated (AP) _ The United States should retaliate for the deaths of four Marines and two American civilians killed along with seven other people when gunman opened fire on two cafes in El Salvador, says the father of one of the victims.
″I look on them as criminals, not as an army fighting for a cause,″ said John Weber of Cincinnati, father of Cpl. Gregory Weber, 22, one of four U.S. Embassy guards killed late Wednesday in San Salvador.
″They’re a bunch of cowards,″ Weber said Thursday. ″You’re at the mercy of those type of people. I don’t know if there was anything our government could have done to prevent it.″
Weber said he wishes the United States would get tough in El Salvador.
Two American employees of Wang Laboratories were among the nine civilians killed in the attack, which left 12 others wounded.
Weber said his son chose embassy guard duty in El Salvador, ″which didn’t please me, but he thought it was important. I never saw a young man who had his head screwed on straighter than he did.″
In Beavercreek, Ohio, Trudy Handwork, mother of slain Sgt. Thomas Handwork, 24, said she saw her dead son on television. ″I saw these bodies. And I recognized my son. I knew it was him. He was wearing the shoes he bought when he came home in March,″ she said.
Karen Moser, 19, of Wausau, Wis., fiance of another slain Marine, Cpl. Patrick Kwiatkowski, who would have been 21 today, said he never spoke of the hazards of his assignment.
″He didn’t mind it there at all. He didn’t say anything about it at all in his letters,″ she said. ″Maybe he wanted to spare me.″
Marine officials said Kwiatkowski joined the service in 1982 and spent 15 months as an embassy guard in Kenya before being posted to El Salvador.
A member of Kwiatkowski’s family, reached by telephone, was crying and said, ″This is a bad time for us, a bad time for the family.″
Relatives of the fourth Marine who died, Sgt. Bobby Joe Dickson, 27, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., said he knew El Salvador was dangerous but he was proud to be a Marine.
″Everybody knew he was in a dangerous job, but he believed he was doing the right thing, and we did too,″ said Alonzo Malone, his step-grandfathe r.
″He was back here around Christmas and told us a little about what it was like down there,″ said Dickson’s stepfather, Hayward Malone. ″He said he slept with a German shepherd by his bed and went to town in an armored car. He said you just didn’t go out alone.″
All the Marines at the cafe Wednesday night were embassy guards in civilian clothes, said U.S. Embassy spokesman James Williams. The United States has Marine guards at all its embassies.
The Wang employees who died were identified Thursday by the Lowell, Mass., company as George Viney, based in Coral Gables, Fla., and Robert Alvidrez, who lived in Lexington, Mass..
Alvidrez’ 20-year-old daughter, Erica, said the family had urged him not to go to El Salvador, ″but he said not to worry.″