Shorter terms for US soldiers

April 4, 2008 7:39:15 PM PDT
There are reports Friday night that the Bush Administration will announce next week that combat tours for U.S. soldiers will be reduced from 15 months to 12. However, what so many military families want to know is, when will our troops come home in large numbers.

Marine Corporal Nathan Damigo of San Jose has served two tours in Iraq. This last tour may have changed him forever.

"He lost four friends. One of them was his roommate at camp Pendleton, another was his bunkmate," said Cherilyn Damigo, mother of Corporal Damigo.

Corporal Damigo is back at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. His mother says he now suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

"It hit him hard, there's no accounting for who it's going to affect," said Cherilyn.

That's part of what the Veterans for America told President Bush in reports released Friday. Members say allowing troops to remain in Iraq's violence-plagued cities in large numbers for extended tours could have disastrous consequences for the mental health of the men and women who serve.

President Bush is expected to order a pause next week that would "freeze" troop withdrawals from Iraq for months.

In Europe for a NATO conference the President repeated the need for continued Middle East involvement.

"By defeating the enemy in Iraq, we will show people across the Middle East that millions share their revulsion of terrorist's hateful ideology," said President Bush.

Charilyn Damigo agrees with the need to fight in Iraq, but not the lengths of deployment.

"I'm ok with the fact that we want to stay in general, with the idea of staying. But I do think that they need to come up with a better solution for rotating the troops through," said Cherilyn.

Army specialist Nathan Medieros of Santa Clara is in Iraq Friday night on his second tour. He has a 16-month-old daughter. He's a stop loss soldier. That means the Army extended his enlistment kept him in Iraq. His mother thought he'd be home by now.

"I would hope there'd be a decision really soon that it's time to bring the troops home," said Mary Corrigan, Nathan Medieros's mother.

General David Petraeus will deliver his report on Iraq April 8th.


Load Comments