Utahns with military ties to the war with Iraq aren't the only ones tracking family members in Saudi Arabia.
Carren Mines, whose husband, Kevin, works for the Saudi oil company Aramco, flew home to Orem from Saudi Arabia last week with her two sons and is patiently waiting for news of her husband, who is still in Persian Gulf.Her husband has been working near Dhahran, about 200 miles south of Kuwait on the eastern Saudi coast.
"We have been glued to the television for any information," Carren said. "All we can do is wait."
The family heard from Kevin Tuesday morning and planned to start calling if they did not hear from him by Thursday.
Carren said Aramco had agreed to pay for dependents of employees to leave the Middle East, but the employees themselves were not being evacuated.
A Utah woman who is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with her husband and three small children telephoned her parents in Utah about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (about 4:30 a.m. Friday Saudi time) to let them know she was safe. The woman's husband works for the U.S. embassy there and has asked that for security reasons neither she nor her parents, who live in the state, be identified.
In a telephone interview with the Deseret News last Friday, the woman said she was frustrated that the U.S. State Department has not authorized voluntary departures for families of embassy employees in Riyadh - which would allow families to be flown out at government expense.
Airline tickets for the woman and her three children would have cost about $5,000, which would strain the family's budget. But she decided earlier this week that the threat of war outweighed budget considerations and she tentatively booked seats on a flight to Paris.
Now, the family will stay put.
Embassy officials apparently notified employees Thursday that war was imminent. They have advised U.S. families to stock an internal, windowless room in their homes with food and water and to seek refuge there in the event war creeps into Riyadh.
Another Utah woman told the Deseret News Thursday night that her brother, who works in Dhahran, wasn't even aware of anything going on until the family called to see if he was OK earlier in the evening. "They were in bed asleep," she said.
Her brother and other American citizens in the area have been assured by the U.S. consulate that they are safe, the woman said. Her brother has stocked a room in his home with food, water and gas masks in case the area is caught in hostilities.
"We're just praying," she added.