Proposed Troop Drawback In Iraq Has Area Military Families Divided

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

She's a mother of a 20-year-old Army specialist she's barely seen in recent months while he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, Carol Archer is cautiously enthusiastic of possible plans to bring thousands of troops home next year.

"It would be very exciting if they were ready, if we have enough people trained, enough Iraqis trained to take the place of the troops," Archer said.

Daniel Loyson, a Vietnam veteran himself, shares similar concerns. His son is scheduled to be deployed in Iraq this September, and believes any Iraq pullout plans are rooted from public opinion at home, not from soldiers fighting overseas.

"There's talk that servicemen been there longer than they should. They're not griping. If they are, you don't hear it. The politicians are griping, other people are griping, but they're not there," Loyson said.

Both Archer and Loyson agree any mass American troop pullout shouldn't happen until the insurgency falls, and an Iraqi defense rises, a belief these parents admit are shared by their military children.

"I don't think scaling back right now is the answer. They need to take care of major problems before they can do that. There are too many terrorists coming into the country, and their police force and army isn't adequate enough," Loyson said.

"(My son) thinks that they really need to finish the job, because even it costs more lives, they need to finish it, so those lives lost are made worthwhile, that they didn't die for nothing," Archer said.

Loyson says he'll believe a troop pullout next year when he sees it, a possibility he feels most soldiers, and his son, aren't worried about," Loyson said.

"I think he's got it in his head that he's going to be there until they send him home. His whole groups of kids are like that," Loyson said. The have a dedication to finish a mission in Iraq, whenever that mission comes to its conclusion, and thousands of American troops are called home.

There are currently 135,000 American troops serving in Iraq.

The troop levels peaked in January, when 160,000 servicemen and women were in country as extra security for the Iraqi elections.

Coalition troops first invaded Iraq in March of 2003.


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