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FAMILIES RECEIVE THE UNWANTED WORD

SHARE FAMILIES RECEIVE THE UNWANTED WORD

Soldiers' families across the United States hoped for the best, but some got the unwanted word: Their loved ones were among the first fatalities from what the White

House called "Operation Just Cause."A Pentagon report raised the number of casualties from the massive invasion intended to usher in a "new democratic government" in Panama and wipe out Noriega: 19 U.S. servicemen killed, 117 wounded and one missing. There was also one American civilian death, a woman teacher.

In all, President Bush ordered 9,500 soldiers and Marines into Panama to bolster the 13,000 normally based there.

The remains of the dead soliders were scheduled to arrive Thursday at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Three planes arrived in San Antonio by early Thursday bringing wounded soldiers to military hospitals.

Among those killed was 22-year-old Cpl. Ivan D. Perez, who, according to his sister, always wanted to be a soldier and passed up a chance to get out of the service last year.