Moms held in suspense over soldier sons

HOUSTON Eyewitness News caught up with two mothers who said they were lighting up their cell phones to check on their boys, but there was no answer.

"The other phone rang and it was my aunt," said Deborah Phifer. "I asked her, 'What's wrong?'"

That's how Phifer found out about Fort Hood, where her son, Sgt. Brandon Edwards, and his family are stationed.

"'What!"" she replied. "And I dropped both phones -- I got hold of myself."

But as news poured into her living room from the television, she was unable to get in touch with her first-born son.

"I tried to call him on his cell phone, I tried to call him on his house phone, I tried calling his wife's cell phone -- and no one would answer," she said.

Toni Bryant was also going through the same thing in Richmond. After calling her son, Jordan Powell, several times, there was no answer.

"You immediately start to think about the last time you saw him, the last time you heard his voice," she said. "What did you say to him? What did you do? How does he smell?"

But both mother's prayer were answered. Phifer got a text message 30 minutes later saying Edwards was OK, but he couldn't talk because the post was on lockdown.

"I cried because they're OK," Phifer said.

And Bryant got a phone call.

"When I answered the phone, I heard a little static in the background," she said. "I said, 'Jordan?' and he said, 'Yes, ma'am.' I was like -- (sighs) -- a weight was lifted off my shoulders."

While the mothers are elated, they are also mindful that a dozen other mothers are not so lucky.

"I feel bad for the other mothers, wives, sisters, brothers, and husbands -- who has someone who is deceased or hurt real bad," Phifer said.

Both moms want to drive to Fort Hood to give their boys a hug, but with the post being on a heightened state of alert, they said they will just use their cell phones to talk to them instead.

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