Waiting game continues for Wylie mom with sons in Libya

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 19 at 10:07 PM

Vicki Linger sits in front of a computer in her Wylie home, praying to hear from her two teenage sons in Libya.

"It's been difficult," she said. "I panic every time I hear a news story, but you have to keep watching because you don't want to turn away from finding out what's going on."

The last message she heard from her son in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi was a brief note on Facebook, saying "Thank you United Nations."

On Saturday, the United States and its allies opened fire on Libya in what is being called Operation Odyssey Dawn.

U.S. and British ships launched more than 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles at military targets in the northern Africa nation.

French warplanes flew overhead, destroying several tanks.

"We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that 'there will be no mercy,' and his forces step up their assault on cities," President Obama said, interrupting a trade mission to South America.

The president said he is deeply aware of the risks, but emphasized he does not intend to send ground forces.

In a message issued Saturday evening, Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi promised a fight. "This is a colonialist and crusading aggression," he said.

It all terrifies Vicki Linger. Her teenagers are with their father in Benghazi, where Gadhafi's forces have focused their attacks.

"I'm really nervous about what's going to happen," she said.

Linger said her sons are American citizens, but the U.S. has already evacuated its officials from Libya. The State Department is urging any remaining Americans to leave immediately — but that is easier said than done.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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