DoDEA Schools live through "Operation Just Cause"
What it was like to live through Operation Just Cause My wife and two children all lived through the events leading up to and including the Invasion of Panama by the United States as it worked to depose Manuel Noriega.
Attached is a great summary of one person’s account as she witnessed the invasion happening all around her.
Two Teachers and the Son of a Teacher Killed in Operation Just Cause
My understand is that the civilian teachers suffered a higher causality rate than the US Military when you look at the numbers of teachers killed versus the number of teachers working for DoDEA, and the numbers of US Military killed versus effecting the invasion. Two teachers and the son of another teacher were all killed during Operation Just Cause. The one teacher had been teaching for a long time at the Panama Canal College. He was abducted from his home in Panama City and shot by some of Noriega’s men. Speculation among the teachers pointed to the fact that back when we were still friends with Noriega, he had helped setup a home computer system for General Noriega. The other teacher was killed as she was driving toward a base. She was out in opposition to the curfew but her husband worked for the Panama Canal Commission and the rules were not the same for them as they were for the employees of DoDEA. A Panama Defense Forces soldier ran across the road and sprayed their car with automatic weapons fire and she died from internal bleeding. The son of the teacher was killed the morning after the invasion. The story we heard was that he became scare when he came upon a road block and ran the road block. The American’s at the check point opened fire and killed him.
American Civilian Runs a Clandestine Radio Station for the CIA
Those civilians, who lived through the Just Cause and the events that lead up to the invasion, are some of the few American civilians that know and understand what it is like to live in a war zone. One family that took a heroic stance was the Muse family. Kurt Muse was helping to run a clandestine radio station for the CIA. They lived a block from our house in downtown Panama City. One morning we woke up to the news that Kurt had been arrested by Noriega and that Ann Muse and her whole family had been whisked away to the United States by the US Military. The story of what had happened was all speculation for a long time but when we hear that on the night of the invasion, a US Delta team had been inserted to free Kurt Muse from jail, we knew the rumors had to be right. Ann Muse has been a long time DoDEA educator, first working in Panama and then working in DoDEA Headquarters. It wasn’t until Kurt wrote his book that the full story came to light. It is the story of individuals fighting to do what they thought was the right thing to do even though they put themselves at great peril.