A Jewish mother in Minneapolis — and her son in Iraq


Paula Waterfield wears three items around her neck: A Magen David for her religion, a flag for her country and a silver star for her son, James, who is on his sixth tour of duty in Iraq.

Waterfield is a member of the organization Families United For Our Troops and Their Mission, which is in Minneapolis for a “Support Out Troops” rally on Monday to coincide the Republican National Convention. And on Sunday afternoon, the Nebraska City, Neb. resident and other members of the organization were invited guests to the premiere of the movie “An American Carol” – directed by “Airplane!” director David Zucker, who just happened to be a Sunday school classmate of Waterfield’s when they both were growing up in a suburb of Milwaukee.

Waterfield said she doesn’t often talk to her son, 41, about being Jewish in the military – although she said he does wonder if wearing a Magen David around his neck is a good idea – but did say that James does get to attend religious services on holidays “once in a while.”

The chair of Families United, Merrilee Carlson, also was in Denver last week outside the Democratic National Convention and said she had been “underwhelmed by the strength of the anti-war protesters,” feeling that the “wind has been pulled out of their sails” by the success of the “surge” in Iraq.

Waterfield said she frequently gets to speak to her son, but asked if she had a message for him, she said simply, “I love you.”

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