2,500 U.S. Troops Dead

By: Narina Crain
By: Narina Crain

On November 2, 2003, Rose Marie Slavenas' world fell apart. The helicopter her son, Brian Slavenas was piloting in Iraq was shot down south of Fallujah. Brian, a Genoa native, along with 15 other soldiers, was killed in the attack.

"I think about it all the time, all the time," says Slavenas.

The last time Slavenas saw her son he told her he didn't want to hurt anyone. She says Brian joined the Illinois Army National Guard because it provided him opportunities as a pilot.

"He had been in it quite some time. He was told he could leave at any time, but he was not able to end his term of service because the president ordered no pilots could end their terms of service."

Slavenas says no more mothers should have to go through what she has experienced. She says it's time to bring all American soldiers home from Iraq.

"They need to work it out for themselves. The quicker we get out of there, the quicker they will do it. Although we may not like the way they do it."

President Bush says the Iraqi people still need our help.

"Our policy is stand up, stand down; as the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down. But if we stand down too soon, it won't enable us to achieve our objectives, and we will support this Iraqi government. That's what I went to tell them. We'll do what it takes to support them, and part of that support is the presence of coalition forces."

The president says the 2,500 American men and women killed in the conflict will not die in vain.


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