Military moms and politicians alike react to Obama's troop removal speech
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - President Obama addressed the nation Wednesday evening to lay-out his timeline for a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"We are meeting our goals, as result, starting next month we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by this year and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer," President Obama said during his speech.
Obama said the US will continue to pursue its goal of securing Afghanistan, but it's time to let the Afghan police and military assume a larger role and begin nation building at home.
The draw-down is good news for the families of thousands of soldiers in Afghanistan, but some mothers are cautiously optimistic.
Marianne Wojciechowicz, says as long as one remains, their war isn't over.
"You learn that when you have a child in the military, every member of the military becomes your child," Marianne says.
Marianne is the president of the Las Vegas chapter of Blue Star Moms, a non-profit support group for military moms. Her son served and now she's serving others.
Marianne invited Action News into her home as she watched the president's announcement.
'"After this initial reduction, our troops will continue coming home at a steady pace," Obama said.
The announcement leaves Marianne with guarded optimism. She says in the last decade two million have served in our middle east war, 1,500 were killed in Afghanistan, thousand wounded, and billions spent this year alone.
"We're happy they're coming home and we hope all the work they did will last as their legacy, and that the goal they had when they went there was the goal that was achieved and what will be left when they're gone," Marianne says.
A number of Nevada politicians also weighed in on Obama's speech. Below are three statements emailed to the Action Newsroom from Senator Harry Reid, Senator Dean Heller, and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.
"The President's plan to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is a critical step in the right direction. I commend the many brave members of our Armed Forces who have served there and thank them for their sacrifice. I look forward to the day when all of our courageous fighting men and women are safely home." - Senator Harry Reid
"Tonight's announcement by the President is a positive first step and I stand with him thanking our troops for their service. I have always said that removal of military personnel should be consistent with the advice of military leaders on the ground. By doing so, we can create increased stability in Afghanistan, continue to hand over more operations to Afghan security forces and, ultimately, bring our troops home." - Senator Dean Heller
"Osama Bin Laden's death marked a new chapter for America's mission in Afghanistan and it's time we begin bringing our troops back home. I support the President's decision to begin this withdrawal and recognize that it must be done in a manner that keeps our forces safe, but I also hope that conditions on the ground will allow us to transfer additional military responsibility to the Afghan people at an accelerated pace. Such a move would enhance our ability to expedite the return home for even more of our brave men and women in uniform now serving in Afghanistan." - Congresswoman Shelley Berkley