More than any Memorial Day in recent memory there’s a lot of sharp discussion about war on May 30, 2011. Support is growing for some kind of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. But how much, is the nagging question. Opinions cut sharply, depending on your ties to the military.
”We do need troops there, especially special operations forces,” said Navy veteran Gerald McAdams. For McAdams, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden does not mean the War on Terror is over. On this Memorial Day, McAdams sat outside the California Military Museum in Old Town waiting for his turn at a free clinic for vets. ”There was the Taliban that harbored the Al Qaeda operatives that crashed the planes into the World Trade Centers, and we need to be there for a reason even now.”
According to a FOX NEWS poll released last week, 62% of the Americans surveyed support the war in Afghanistan. The mood for a pullout, though, is growing. 39% are willing to stick with President Obama’s July withdrawal date; but 25% want that to begin immediately. 33% think the U.S. should stay until there’s stability in Afghanistan. ”It’s just part of life you know, we have to defend ourselves. We also have to take care of the people that can’t defend themselves,” says Brian Jacoby, a Navy man who served in Operation Desert Storm in the early 90’s.
Twenty blocks away in midtown Sacramento where the voting public is younger and more liberal, talk of a pullout is a Black & White issue. 29 year old Danica Zidro is a barista, ”Yea, I think it’s been time since we went. Especially since they found what’s his face.” She means, Osama Bin Laden.
The issues become a little clearer when you take a look at the casualties on the Wall of Honor inside the Military Museum. The names come from places like Turlock, Sonora, Woodland and just last week Citrus Heights.
”Pretty sad we still have people over there dying.” While touring the museum with his family Ignacio Arauza told FOX40’s John Lobertini he worries about his 25 year old cousin still serving in Afghanistan. But Arauza wants to be 100% sure about a troop withdrawal.
”I know they’re over there protecting us. Gosh I don’t know if the job is done yet.”
Is the job done yet? The answer depends on who you ask. Many of the vets FOX40 talked to on this Memorial Day believe some kind of US force needs to remain in Afghanistan and Iraq; especially undercover and special ops forces.