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For many, Christmas is a time for good tidings and cheer. But, for 1989 University graduate Christopher Oh, this past Christmas was a time to prepare for war. On December 25, Oh left his military base in Frankfurt, Germany for Saudi Arabia. Now, he is leading an armored platoon as part of the allied ground attack to force Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. At Oh's family home in Atlanta, Jung Oh worries about his son's safety, especially now that the ground phase of the war has begun and troop movements have become hard to track. "I don't know at this moment where he might be," he said. "We can just pray for his good speed and good health. That's the best way to do it." But, despite the personal danger Oh and his platoon might face if they engage Iraqi forces in battle, his father said the former University Army Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet has expressed readiness both in phone conversations and in letters. "They knew they were going," he said. "The last day on the phone he sounded calm, but we were very sad." "His letter said he is going to fight very hard, but he also promised me he will be OK," he added. "That gives us some encouragement." Those who knew Oh during his days at the University remember him as both an excellent cadet and a good person. "He is a really friendly guy, always willing to help out," said Wharton senior Steve Braun, who became friends with Oh through ROTC. "He was outstanding, a really good leader," he said. "He was someone you wanted to do well for, as opposed to someone who you had to take orders from because it was part of the job." College junior Russ Blumer, one of Oh's brothers at the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, said his association with Oh dates back to their high school years in Montreal. Blumer said Oh, a Canadian citizen from birth, became an American citizen while at the University just so he could serve in the U.S. Army. "The biggest thing is he was always very driven and didn't go half-hearted into anything," Blumer said. "He obviously has a strong character and moral obligation." Lieutenant Colonel Clinton Miner, Oh's ROTC instructor, echoed the praise for his former student. "He was energetic, outgoing, really interested in doing good work and taking care of people," Miner said. Although Oh graduated almost two years ago, Miner said he kept in touch with the former cadet up until his deployment to the Gulf, when he said Oh was as selfless and dedicated as ever. "His concern was not about himself," Miner said. "What he was always concerned about was had he prepared his platoon well enough and was he up for the job to keep the folks in his platoon alive?" "The biggest thing he faces is to get them molded together as a team that can trust each other, rely on each other, and hopefully accomplish whatever mission they have -- and keep them alive," he said. But Miner stressed he has no doubts that Oh will lead his platoon with effectiveness and dedication. "I know Chris well enough to know that they are really in good hands, because he puts their welfare above his own," Miner said. Oh's father has tried remaining optimistic in the face of his growing helplessness, but in the end, he said, he can only pray. "I keep telling him to stay alert and be professional," his father said. "We all pray for him."

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