Green Country Military Families React To Obama's Iraq Announcement

Friday, October 21st 2011, 5:15 pm
By: News On 6

 Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Military families around Green Country are anxious to hear what Obama's announcement means for their loved ones serving in Iraq.

Those families are still processing the announcement. They're hopeful for the future and are looking for more details.

One father whose son is a medic on his third deployment in Iraq was relieved to hear President Obama say his son would be coming home soon -- and wants to know when that will be.

He feels U.S. troops have been in Iraq long enough and it's time to let the Iraqis take over. The news also affects troops who are already home but could be deployed again.

Beth Mullins' son -- Specialist Nathaniel Mullins -- spent a year in Iraq and is now stationed in Virginia Beach.

"We missed his 20th birthday. We missed Christmas. So it was pretty traumatic. He was our one and only child," Mullins said.

Mullins says she is so proud of her son for serving his country and she supports America's mission in Iraq. Now, she worries the U.S. may have stayed there too long.

Mullins is active with Blue Star Moms and says pulling troops out of Iraq will bring comfort to so many families.

"If he brings them home before Christmas time they won't miss another Christmas. I think it's great. I think it's time," Mullins said.

A sentiment echoed by Gary and Patsy Varnell, whose son Sgt. Jeremy Varnell is on his third deployment in Iraq.

The medic from Mannford wasn't scheduled to come home until May. Now, it looks like his homecoming will be sooner.

"When I'm able to shake his hand, I'll believe it," Gary Varnell said.

The President's announcement is a great comfort to the Varnells, but still worry for their son's safety.

"We're pulling out. But what is the insurgency going to try, knowing that we're going to leave?" Gary asked.

The worries also remain for the Mullins family. specialist Mullins made it back from Iraq, but could be deployed to Afghanistan next year.

"We've been fighting in Afghanistan too, just as long as in Iraq. It's time to bring them home, too," Mullins said.

A reminder the wars are not over -- but finally, relief for families on the battlefield back home.

Beth Mullins says she called her son to tell him the news. He was with his unit in Virginia in the middle of training -- proof a soldier's job is never finished.