Opinions Split On Troop Withdrawal

Opinions Split On Troop Withdrawal

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Mobile, AL - Mildred Hardee has an entire cabinet dedicated to the memory of her son.  David smith was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.  The memory of that day still haunts her. 

"It was the end of the world,” says Hardee holding back tears.  “I will never get over my son's death." Smith was an elite helicopter pilot who flew into combat zones to pull the wounded out.  One of those missions cost him his life.  Smith’s mother says she's glad everyone will come home soon.

“It gives them a sigh of relief and hope that their sons and daughters won't come back in a box,” says Hardee.  Afghanistan veteran Chris Taylor considers David Smith a brother in arms--with a tribute to the fallen airman on the back of his car.  Like a lot of vets, Taylor says troops shouldn't leave.

“They'll come home, their families will be glad but we'll still have an enemy that needs us to do our job and when we don't do our jobs the enemy will come back,” says Taylor.  Gerald C. Johnson is a veteran of several conflicts including Iraq--he says the 2016 withdrawal could undo years of work.

“Then you just pull out, the country you made stable is going to have the incentive to go back to the same way they were,” says Johnson.  The perspective is different for another gold-star mother Melanie Miller.  Her son Joseph Whitehead lost his life in 2011 to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.  She says it's time to bring the troops home.

“Because they've been there long enough and enough lives have been lost,” says Miller.  Most of the people I spoke with agreed--troop pullout or not, the sacrifices of these young men aren't in vain. 

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