Thursday, March 17, 2011

General Petraeus reveals that son served in Afghanistan

Petraeus reveals that son served in Afghanistan
– Wed Mar 16, 7:09 pm ET
WASHINGTON – Challenged by a congressman to "be honest" about how long American troops might have to fight in Afghanistan, Army Gen. David Petraeus revealed that he has a personal stake in ensuring that the U.S. war objectives are met — his son, Stephen, whose recent combat tour was kept "very quiet."

In an emotional exchange with Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., Petraeus said "if I ever felt that we couldn't achieve our objectives," he would be "very forthright" not only with his superiors in the military chain of command but also with President Barack Obama and members of the Congress.

Noting that Obama has said the U.S. will have combat troops out by the end of 2014, with the Afghan government in position to provide its own security, a skeptical Jones said he could imagine a senior military leader coming before Congress in 2015 and pleading for more time and more sacrifice.

"You know, 15, 16, 17 years, for God sakes, how much more can we take, how much more can we give treasure and blood?" Jones asked.

Petraeus replied: "I may not be at this table, probably won't be, in 2015, but I'll tell you that my son is in uniform, and Lieutenant Petraeus just completed a tour in Afghanistan, which thankfully we were able to keep very quiet, and left in November after serving as an infantry platoon leader. We're very proud of what he did. He thinks he was doing something very important."

His son, 2nd Lt. Stephen Petraeus, served in Afghanistan as a member of Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

At first I thought this was just one more of our elected suddenly saying that Afghanistan is not worth it. I was wrong. It seems that Congressman Jones has been saying something as serious as war needs serious debate for a long time.

Washington, D.C., Jun 16, 2006 - In a House vote today, Third District Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC) registered a “present” vote on H. Res. 861, a resolution dealing with the ongoing conflict in Iraq and the Global War on Terror. The House vote followed yesterday’s full day of debate on the resolution.

“Without question, I fully support our nation’s efforts to win the Global War on Terror,” Congressman Jones said today. “And I, like all of my colleagues in Congress, will always support the brave men and women of our military.”

“What I have encouraged in the months leading up to this week’s debate was a day set aside for a wide-ranging discussion of our campaign in Iraq, including serious consideration of issues such as the status of Iraqi infrastructure, the Iraqi economy and the training of Iraqi troops.”

“I could not vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on H. Res. 861 today because a resolution to merely “declare that the United States will prevail” in a “noble struggle” misses the point. A ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote would have legitimized an effort to effectively avoid the subject,” Jones said.

“I have done everything in my ability, as one member of Congress, to encourage a serious debate – including an appearance with colleagues before the House Rules Committee to appeal for a less restrictive format for debate,” Jones said. “The House debate should have offered an opportunity to vote on a variety of proposals on what should be the way forward in Iraq. Unfortunately, we have yet to have that discussion or debate.”

“We owe it to the 130,000 men and women of our military who are serving in Iraq to have a serious discussion on a full range of issues – not just a political match with two parties retreating to their respective corners with prepared talking points and rhetoric. When the House of Representatives conducts a “debate” in which one side does nothing but launch an offensive attack and one side does nothing but defend, it is not what our men and women in uniform need.”

“It is disappointing that neither party has distinguished itself in its handling of this issue,” Jones said. “To some extent, both parties participating in this debate have unfortunately put their political interests above the interests of the troops.”

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Congressman Walter B. Jones please contact Kathleen Joyce at (202) 225-3415.

There was very little debate before troops were sent into Afghanistan in 2001 and even less debate about sending them into Iraq. The lives of the men and women sent should have been taken far more seriously just as taking care of them when they came home should have been planned out. It seems Jones cared. Did your congressman care or was it all about politics back then? Look them up and what their votes were and find their speeches to learn about what they really care about.

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