Young Soldiers and Veterans On Afghanistan Surge
News Report, Denise Tejada
Dec 02, 2009
When President Obama speaks to a TV-watching public tonight about his plan to increase troops in Afghanistan, he will also be speaking live to an audience of teenage and twenty-something cadets at the United States Military Academy in Upstate New York. The administration has said that setting the speech at West Point is a tribute to the “extremely heavy burden” the Army has carried in fighting the war. But the setting also speaks to the fact that it will be young people, in particular, who will carry the burden of the President’s new commitment to the war.
According to the Web site iCasualties.org, the average age of the 76 U.S. troops who died in Afghanistan in the last two months is 26.
News reports and other media have shown that there is no consensus among young active-duty soldiers about whether Obama’s planned surge is a good idea. An Associated Press reporter spoke to soldiers outside Fort Drum in New York. These soldiers may be among the 34,000 troops President Obama is planning on deploying.
Young veterans are also split. This Al Jazeera story follows veterans who show up at congress member’s offices to share their battle field experiences in Afghanistan in hopes of changing their minds.