Your expose was truly an eye opener HOWEVER it also reinforces my question.......... WHY ARE WE STILL THERE? Our country is in the middle of it's own economic social & political crisis....... problem solving not forth coming. Everyday I dread the news of hearing that yet more of our American soldiers gave of their lives FOR WHAT? What I think we Americans need to realize is that there is only so much we can do to show our benevolence for other problem ridden countries....... to this day I continue to feel more loss than gain & do not feel any safer than I did eight years ago. LET'S GET OUR HUSBANDS, WIVES & CHILDREN HOME NOW! We as a Country can once again regroup and strengthen!
I would like to thank you for taking the time and risking your personal safety to bring us your reports. My son is one of the many Illinois Guardsmen that is now serving in Afghanistan. Your series helps to bridge the gap in information that we, as family, face each and everyday that our loved ones are gone. It is hard enough for for my wife and I, as a parents to be without our son. I can not fathom what a spouse or child must face when their soldier is so far away for so long.
I know that a great many people in the United States wonder why we are still "Over there." So often it does not seem like we are making a difference. Perhaps for the vast majority of the Afghan people we are not. Who is to really say? Every once in a while, we do make a difference. I suppose that is where we as a nation should focus.
My son has had two jobs while in Afghanistan. The first one was when he was an Afghan Police Mentor. Now he is helping to train Afghan soldiers. In both jobs, he was doing his part to train the Afghans to become self reliant. That is a goal worth striving for. The problem in their country is not going to go away over night. It may not be solved in our lifetime or in our children's lifetime. But there comes a time when people must stand up and do what is right not because it is the easy thing to do but because it is the right thing to do.
My son and I talked about his joining the National Guard when he was a junior in high school. It was post 911 and he wanted to give something back to his Country. He wanted to serve his Country. His commitment has come with a price. Due to training requirements and now being deployed, he has missed a full 2 years of college. The students that he graduated from high school with are now graduating from college. Often he was not able to get a job when he was waiting for his Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training. (What employer wants to higher a new employee if they know that he will be leaving the company shortly and be gone for a month or more while he trains? Not to mention the 9 months in Afghanistan. Not very many.) The price he paid also includes being being a Purple Heart recipient as a suicide bomber decided to attack his convoy while they were out on patrol.
I have to tell you that my son is my hero. I am so proud of the job he and his team members do day in and day out.
Thank you once again.
I have been following your story, and although I find it very interesting, I think that you should be aware that there are other soldiers fighting in this war that are also from Illinois. My son SPC Alan Torkelson (19 yrs), has been in Afghanistan since Feb 2009. Although he is not with the National Guard; I think that his efforts and those of his fellow troops should be recognized also. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take this under consideration, and maybe mention this part of the whole story in your next newscast. Thank you for your time.
I have one wish:
That more folks would actually READ my blog before they post on it.
This isn't about me --that was never the intent-- it's about the soldiers who are over there. I make no distinction between the National Guard, Army, Air Force or Marines. I've run into folks serving in the Navy over there!!
It's about the people who serve. That should be obvious. Perhaps it's not.
While I was in Afghanistan, I tried to get to every Illinois serviceman and woman in that country. If you've read the blog, you're aware of that.
I'll be talking more about the people over there on our news at 5:30 tonight.
At 9- a story I really think our viewers will appreciate. It's very rare that a reporter ever gets unrestricted access to a war zone. The result is complete access for YOU- to what's going on over there. I hope you'll check it out.
All I want to do is enlighten; I don't want to talk about politics, distinctions between branches of service- or decisions that have already been made.
I'll say it again:
There's a war going on.
It's being waged in your name.
Your friends and relatives and neighbors are fighting it.
Your tax dollars are paying for it.
You deserve to know what's going on.
They deserve to have their stories told.
That. Is. What. I. Do.
Hope to see you tonight.