Terrorist bomb
hits Mideast and
hurts in Hawaii

A former isle woman is widowed
and faces an uncertain future
in her fight with cancer

A former Hawaii woman said her husband -- killed Wednesday when a terrorist bomb tore apart a vehicle in Gaza City -- was working under dangerous conditions to earn more money that would aid her recovery from bone cancer.

Courtney Linde, 21, who grew up in Hawaii Kai, had chemotherapy and surgery to replace a right femur and knee with a titanium rod and knee last October.

Her husband, John Linde Jr., was discharged from the Marines last year and joined the Virginia-based private security firm DynCore earning about $130,000 a year.

But the job was risky.

John Linde Jr. and two other security officers were part of a detail escorting a U.S. diplomat on his way to interview Palestinian applicants for Fulbright scholarships when their van was blown up by a remote-controlled bomb as it entered Gaza from Israel.

Courtney Linde's mother, Lyn Brown of Wailea, Maui,, said her son-in-law was a hero.

"He was a total hero," she said. "He was a hero when Courtney had cancer, and he stood by her side.

"He was proud to be bringing diplomats to help in the peace effort."

John Linde Jr. was from a Washington, Mo., family whose father and grandfather had been career Marines.

Brown said her daughter finished Air Force basic training at the top of her class last year. She is now an airman at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

She discovered she had bone cancer while undergoing technical training, which follows basic training.

Brown said there is a chance the cancer may return because her daughter was unable to complete the full chemotherapy treatment last year, due to her debilitated health.

Brown said there are no signs of cancer after the treatment, but her daughter will still require a checkup every three months.

Courtney Linde said that while the U.S. military has paid for the medical costs, the Air Force plans to discharge her Oct. 28, leaving her uncertain about her future medical coverage.

"To be honest, I'm really scared myself," Courtney Linde said.

Brown said Air Force officials are contending that her daughter's condition existed before she joined the military and they're not responsible for her care.

Brown said her daughter was accepted into the Air Force after undergoing a physical examination and there is no medical proof that she had a pre-existing condition.

She said her daughter complained to physicians several times about pains in her bones toward the end of basic training and an X-ray revealed there was cancer three weeks into her technical training.

Brown said she and her husband, Skip, plan to talk with the commander of the Air Force base to see if officials might delay their daughter's discharge.

"We don't think it's right," Brown said.


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