Blue Star Mom: Bin Laden death a milestone

May 2, 2011 6:36:36 PM PDT
For the past decade, men and women in our armed forces have been fighting and dying to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. For the families of those service members waiting and worrying here at home all of these years, this is an unforgettable day.

For recent veterans and those with loved ones still serving overseas, relief over bin Laden's death is largely tempered by their concern over what happens next.

Anita Waldron's 22-year-old son Vincent is an Army medic serving in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. For her, the death of bin Laden is an important milestone, but doesn't bring much comfort.

"I rejoice with our country and around the world with this finding and this new development, but for those of us that have loved ones over there, they're still in a pretty dangerous area," she says.

Waldron was relieved to hear from her son via the Internet, shortly after bin Laden was killed.

Walnut Creek's Zachary Martinson wasn't surprised by where bin Laden was found. As a veteran Marine lance corporal, Martinson served two tours in Afghanistan.

Asked if he thinks the war on terror is over, he responds, "Probably not. There's always going to be someone else to take up Osama bin Laden's position or start another terrorist organization."

"I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't think that we were going to find out where he was," says retired Major General Paul Monroe who was the head of the California National Guard when 9/11 happened. He believes bin Laden's death is a big step, but doesn't mark the end of the larger battle.

"I'd probably feel differently if we had done this 10 years ago because it was right after 9/11 and we all fault that we needed to get even with somebody over this," says Monroe. "But now, 10 years later, it's a little bit different. I'm glad there's a lot of people that are happy about it, but this isn't over."

It's especially not over for the 2,000 California guard members now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another 21,000 are actively training here at home for possible deployment.


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