A New Mexico woman said she saw her son interviewed on Iraqi television as one of the US soldiers taken prisoner, and she begged US President George W. Bush: "Please do something for my son."
Anecita Hudson of Alamogordo said she saw her 23-year-old son, Army Special Joseph Hudson, who was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, interviewed in the Iraqi video, which was carried on a Filipino television station she subscribes to.
"I saw my son and I said, `Oh, my God.' I looked at him, and he looked so scared. I started crying," Mrs. Hudson, who is of Filipino ancestry, said as she clutched a red-beaded rosary at the home of a friend.
Asked what she would tell Bush if she met him, she said she would say: "Please do something for my son. I don't want him to get cold, and I don't want him to get hungry. I just want him to come home alive."
Mrs. Hudson said her son identified himself on the video but didn't give any more information. She said he appeared to be uninjured, unlike some of the others in the video.
"It's like a bad dream, seeing your son get captured on TV," she said, noting she saw the images before talking to her daughter-in-law, who received a briefing about the situation from military officials.
US military officials did not immediately release identities of any of the soldiers, who Iraqi television reported were captured or killed in an ambush near Nasiriyah, a major crossing point over the Euphrates northwest of Basra.
However, Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had told him to "assure the family, including Mrs. Hudson, that we are doing everything possible to assure his safety and speedy return. He complimented the young military people, including Joseph, as being well-trained, extremely patriotic and great volunteers."
Mrs. Hudson said her son's wife, Natalie Hudson, was briefed at Fort Bliss Army base on Sunday and was told not to say anything about her husband's plight. The couple has a 5-year-old daughter.
"I'm just praying that the other people [in the military] will get him out of there," she said.
She said she and her son moved to Alamogordo after his father -- an air force retiree -- was killed in a Florida motorcycle accident in 1991. The family had lived in Alamogordo previously when her husband was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, she said.
A 1998 graduate of Alamogordo High School, Joseph Hudson did weight training at the school and liked fishing, bowling and card games, his mother said.
She said he went into the army to secure a good future, not to fight. He is a mechanic who specializes in fixing trucks, his mother said.
His brother, Anthony Hudson, 18, said he heard about his brother as he got out of the shower Sunday.
"I'm going out of my mind. I don't care about myself. Send me over there. I'll get him back," Anthony Hudson said. "I promise that."
Rick Arias, basketball coach and driver education instructor at Alamogordo High, said he remembers Hudson as a "typical high-school kid, a really good kid who took care of business in the classroom, a good student."
Track coach Joe Bryant said Hudson had a good idea of what he wanted to do while in high school.
"In 30 years I've been involved with a lot of kids," he said. "You really look for the kids that kind of brighten your day, and he's one."