Lufkin vets share thoughts on troop deployment

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For veterans like Bill Stovall, President Obama's military outline hits home.

"I get a little emotional," he said.

Over the next seven months, 30,000 soldiers will leave U.S. soil for Afghanistan. Some will deploy as soon as Christmas.

"It's always tough anytime you go," veteran Erasmo Esteves said. "It doesn't matter what time of year they say you can go."

"There's going to be a lot of our homes and families that aren't going to be together due to the fact that some of their loved ones is over there now," Stovall said.

"I really support our president," Stovall said. "He's our commander in chief and I respect his office and he makes the decisions which is not easy to do."

Although General Stanley McChrystal requested 40,000 soldiers to finish their mission, Stovall says we should not question the president's decision to send less.

"He condensed it down to 30,000 troops," Stovall said. "I don't know if he had in mind that some of our ally forces of other countries would come in there and make up that extra 10,000."

While Esteves and Stovall support the president's plan, questions remain.

"Wow. Where are we going to get all the extra troops?" Esteves said.

Stovall hopes the surge of forces Obama has ordered will put an end to the war.

"I would like for it to end and our troops come back home, have a good Christmas or a good New Year and say thank you for bringing us into this country," Stovall said.

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