Local Soldiers React to War-Time Extension

Earlier this week thirteen thousand National Guard soldiers form Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Arkansas got the official heads up to expect to be deployed to Iraq by years end, or sometime next year.

Also U.S army troops on the ground in Iraq can expect to stay put for fifteen months, instead of 12 and some folks in Michiana say that is asking too much.

Veterans of Michiana pledge their honor to the flag at the beginning of Thursday night's town hall meeting, with Representative Joe Donnely.

Among other things, the lawmaker talked about recent requests made of men and women currently serving our country.

“We’re asking those who have sacrificed so much to sacrifice even more. So it’s incredibly difficult on the families and the members themselves, but what it’s a sign of is how thinly stretched we are in the army,” says Donnely.

While he wouldn’t say whether he supports the new measures, Donnely says people want to see notable progress in the war torn country.

Not to far away, students at Saint Mary’s College were encouraged to take a stand.

Professor Patrick Pierce says, “I’d likes to encourage everybody to believe that any type of activism no matter what your point of view is a good thing. This is a democratic state.”

While playing an active role may be an option for some student’s personal investment in the war isn't a choice.

“Its a little overwhelming when you’re actually able to relate when you know girls who have boyfriend over there, or who have fathers it definitely really hits home. Reading about Vietnam in history books doesn’t quite affect you the way Iraq does,” says Saint Mary’s Freshman Sara Fink.

Of course, the men and women in the armed forces will be the most affected by the recent announcements by the Department of Defense.

There are about 145 thousand us troops on the ground in Iraq currently, and that number is expected to swell to 160 thousand by June.

The new fifteen month limit will only affect active duty us army units.

Members of the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve will continue to serve their 12 month tours, and Marines will continue with seven month stints.


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