Sunday, March 30, 2003

Navy surgeon from Hillsboro has seen war in Gulf before


Tristate reacts to war

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Lt. Cmdr. Lowell Chambers (left) from Hillsboro, Ohio, and Capt. H.R. Bohman operate on an Iraqi civilian in central Iraq.
(Associated Press photo)
| ZOOM |
Sarah Chambers shudders each time she sees war casualties on television news broadcasts.

"My heart sinks because I'm thinking it could be my husband," she said.

Her husband, Hillsboro native Lt. Cmdr. Lowell Chambers, is a U.S. Navy surgeon who's working in a medical unit in Iraq.

Mrs. Chambers, 26, and her 2-year-old twin boys are staying with her parents in Mansfield, Ohio, while her husband is in Iraq. His parents, Lowell and Carolyn Chambers, still live in Hillsboro.

Mrs. Chambers said her husband told her in a letter dated March 22 that his closest call so far occurred when a Scud missile landed a quarter of a mile away.

"He thought it would be encouraging to me to tell me the missile was a quarter of a mile away from him," Chambers said with a laugh.

"I'm proud of him," she said. "He's doing what he's been called on to do."

Lowell Chambers, 34, left for Iraq on Jan. 30 as part of the medical staff from the Forward Resuscitative Surgeon System. Mrs. Chambers said he spent his first few weeks there lecturing to other medical personnel to prepare them to treat the first war casualties.

"A lot of the people he was lecturing to hadn't seen much combat," she said.

He already knew what war is like. He served with the Marine Reserves' military police in Desert Storm before he attended medical school on a Navy scholarship.

Chambers, a 1987 graduate of Hillsboro High School, has been on active duty in the Navy for a year and a half. He served on the USS Kitty Hawk for a year in Yokosuka, Japan, before being deployed about four months ago to Los Angeles for specialized training.

"He's been away from his twins more than he's been with them," said his mother, Carolyn Chambers. "It's kind of sad."

She said she knows better how to cope with worrying about her son's safety because of following him through Desert Storm.

"You just go along and do things and take it a day at a time," Carolyn Chambers said. "We rely heavily on prayer support from our church and our friends."

Sarah Chambers said a strong religious faith also sustains her and her husband.

"He told me, `If I'm killed, you'll know I died defending our country for our children's freedom, and I'll see you on the other side in heaven,' " she said. "He knows where he'll wake up will be a place with no more war."

E-mail skemme@enquirer.com




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