Oklahomans React To Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal

Wednesday, June 22nd 2011, 9:33 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Oklahomans are reacting to word from President Obama that 10,000 U.S. troops will come home from Afghanistan by the end of this year as the U.S. mission shifts from combat to support after nearly 10 years of war.

6/22/2011 Related Story: Oklahomans On Homefront Discuss Afghanistan Withdrawal

The president said a total of 33,000 troops would be withdrawn by next summer, as he announced what he called "the beginning but not the end of our effort to wind down this war."

After the 33,000 troops are gone, about 70,000 will remain until the transition is complete in 2014.

Angel Muly's son, Shane, deployed to Afghanistan with the 45th Infantry Brigade just days ago for his second tour. The Muly's are now caring for Slade, the son Shane had to leave behind.

"Oh definitely want to believe it. Oh, I would just be tickled if they brought them all home," Angel said.

But Angel says she's having trouble believing the President's troop withdrawal plan.

"They're going to pull out 10,000 by the end of the year, 20,000 by next year, yet my son's just now going over there. So it's kind of hard for a mom to buy into some of that," she said.

In Tulsa, Kim McInnis and her two daughters are staying strong while her husband is serving in Afghanistan. She says it's about time to get out of that country.

"For us to continue to keep trying to push them along and 'you can do it, you can do it,' I just don't think it's there. We are just spinning our wheels," she said.

Paul McInnis is in the Navy, working with a mentoring group teaching the Afghan people how to run a more sanitary hospital. His wife is torn on the drawdown.

If he starts pulling people out though and it leaves my husband there unprotected, I'm not sure I'm okay with that either," McInnis said. "So it's kind of mixed emotions about how I feel."

Both women wonder whether their loved ones will get new marching orders, or be part of the 70,000 who remain in Afghanistan. They just want to be able to bank on the President's word.

"If he says we are going to bring them home, let's bring them home and if you aren't going to bring them home, then quit telling us moms and wives that we're bringing these guys home. Because it's hard," Angel said.

Paul McInnis is due to return in November. Angel's son, Shane, is due to come back in May.

It's unclear right now if those dates will hold up after tonight's announcement.