LACKAWANNA COUNTY – As President Barack Obama prepares to talk to the nation Tuesday night, people here in northeastern Pennsylvania are planning to watch closely. Many have mixed emotions about how our nation should react to the growing conflict in the east.
Dr. J. Charabati sees patients in Old Forge daily, but the Syrian native is worried about his family living in the middle of conflict. The doctor has not heard from his brothers and sisters in Syria for weeks after reports that thousands there were attacked by a chemical gas.
"It's very extremely difficult. There is really lack of communication now. The phone lines are down and the internet communication, there's no internet communication," said Dr. Charabati.
President Obama plans to address the nation and give Americans an idea of what action the U.S. may take to help.
Jack Adrian has been taking care of the grounds at Keystone College for more than a decade and says he’ll be watching Obama’s address closely.
"I hope that they can settle without a war, you know? And because, like I said, there are a lot of innocent people going overseas that don't have to go over," said Adrian.
Student Corey Thrope grew up in a military family and is studying environmental science at Keystone College. He, like a majority of Americans, isn’t in favor of a U.S. military strike.
"It's something that happened in the past, and if we didn't do anything about it in the past, why do something now, you know?” Thrope asked.
Don Mason works nearby in Wyoming County, cutting firewood for homes and businesses. He is hoping the president takes a much stronger stance than most.
"We need to do something because you can't let people get away with using chemical warfare. It's just not right,” said Mason.
Syrian native Charabati doesn’t support a U.S. military strike, but does hope help will reach his country and family soon.
"I think arming the rebels and supporting them will be way more beneficial and take this tyrant down rather than for the United States to be involved,” said Charabati.
President Obama is scheduled to speak at 9p.m. You can watch on WNEP-TV and wnep.com.