- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 31, 2002

MONTGOMERY, Ala. One of the medical missionaries gunned down in Yemen had devoted 24 years of her life to helping women and children there, one had been there a decade and the third was less than a year from retirement.
"She loved the people very much. She felt like that was home," Ira Myers said of his daughter, Dr. Martha C. Myers.
A gunman entered the complex of Jibla Baptist Hospital in the Yemeni city of Jibla yesterday hiding a semiautomatic rifle under his jacket to make it resemble a child, according to Yemeni officials.
The attacker entered a room where hospital director William E. Koehn was holding a meeting and opened fire, said a statement from the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board, based in Richmond.
Three persons, including Mr. Koehn, were killed and one wounded in the attack.
Mr. Koehn, 60, of Arlington, Texas, had planned to retire in October after 28 years of service, the mission board said.
Mr. Koehn and his wife, Marty, had been in Yemen since 1975, his brother, Randal Pearce, said outside his home in Mansfield, Texas, about 15 miles southeast of Fort Worth.
"We have found them to be gracious and kind," Mr. Pearce said of the Yemenis. "Otherwise, Bill and Marty would never have spent their lives serving there."
The Southern Baptist agency identified the third person killed as purchasing agent Kathleen A. Gariety, 53, of Wauwatosa, Wis., and said the wounded survivor was pharmacist Donald W. Caswell, 49, of Levelland, Texas.
Ira Myers, the retired director of the Alabama Department of Public Health, said Yemen had been his daughter's home for 24 years. "She went over when she was a senior in medical school. She decided that's where she wanted to be," he said.
"She loved the people very much," Mr. Myers said. "She felt like that was home. She had the opportunity to talk to the native women. That would not have been possible for a male doctor in that culture. She delivered lots of babies."
He said his daughter also helped UNICEF with immunization programs.
"We are concerned for the people who have been getting their care from Martha and the others at the hospital. Now where do they go?" asked Mr. Myers, 78.
Kathleen Gariety had been in Yemen for about 10 years. Her family had tried to persuade her to stay in Wisconsin this summer, but the Baptist aid worker from Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee, had insisted on returning to Yemen.
"We tried hard to get her to stay home," said her brother, Jerome J. Gariety Jr. of Colgate, Wis. "She wouldn't hear of that.
"I didn't want her to go, but I think what really took her back was the children. She loved the children," he added.
Mr. Caswell's father, 71-year-old D.C. Caswell of Levelland, Texas, about 30 miles west of Lubbock, said his son was recovering from surgery for a stomach wound.
"We just thank the Lord that he is alive," the elder Mr. Caswell said. "He's alert and talking and everything's going to be all right, they're thinking."
He said his son had been doing missionary work for a year and a half, and worked as a pharmacist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before he and his wife, Terri, went abroad. They have three children, ages 5, 12 and 27.
The Richmond-based Baptist mission board has nearly 5,500 missionaries worldwide.
Board spokeswoman Wendy Norvelle said more than 40,000 patients are treated annually at the Yemeni hospital, which provides free care and medicine to people who cannot afford it.

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