Sunday, August 22, 2010

For kin, the Iraq mission isn’t over

US forces have been deployed into Pakistan to help flood survivors. They are in Afghanistan trying to stop the Taliban from regaining brutal control over the villages at the same time trying to find remaining members of Al Qaeda crisscrossing the two countries. They are also still in Iraq but no longer in combat roles. They still have work to be done there and as this piece points out, we should not forget about the remaining troops there. Given the fact we have pretty much forgotten about all the troops we have deployed, it is pretty doubtful we will think of any of them. More people in this country know more about Lindsay Lohan's couple of days in jail than they do about how many troops are deployed, where they are deployed, how many killed in action or how many wounded.

For kin, the Iraq mission isn’t over
As troops depart, work remains

By Brian MacQuarrie
Globe Staff

When the last US combat brigade from Iraq crossed into Kuwait this past week, that benchmark in a bloody, seven-year war was greeted with mixed reactions from veterans and military families who have ties to Massachusetts.

To some, the withdrawal is tangible proof of a job well done. To others, the 50,000 US troops left behind to provide training and security underscore the daunting perils that face Iraq’s fragile, fledgling democracy.

All agree, however, that much work remains to be done.

To Maura Kilbride, a Newton native whose husband, Bryan, recently deployed to Iraq for a fourth tour, the war has been measured in sleepless nights, the births of three children, and questions about whether the United States will ever be at peace.

Occasionally, Kilbride said, people are surprised to hear that her husband has returned to Iraq. They will ask, “Aren’t we done over there?’’ she said.

“Yes, the combat troops are gone, but my husband is over there,’’ Kilbride said. “I don’t want people to take their eye off the war. The war is not over. There are still troops over there who are still in harm’s way, and families here whose brothers, husbands, and sons are there.’’

Since Sept. 11, 2001, a total of 8,300 Army and Air National Guard members from Massachusetts have been deployed overseas, with the bulk of them dispatched to Iraq. Currently, 594 Massachusetts National Guard members are serving there.

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For kin the Iraq mission isnt over

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