April 11th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: Standing by the troops

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer
CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - Amidst all the discussion of the war in Iraq this week was some good news for the men and women of the U.S. Army. President Bush announced that their tours of duty in Iraq will be reduced from 15 to 12 months. Three months might not sound like a lot but having been to Iraq and having seen the conditions under which the troops serve, I can assure you that those three months can make a big difference. That new policy will begin on August 1 of this year.

It means that American soldiers heading to Iraq before August 1 will still have to serve for 15 months in the country; those deploying after August 1 will have to serve in Iraq for one year.

Once the new policy goes into effect, the soldiers also will know that they will have a year at home for every year they serve in Iraq.

“This policy is intended to give units time to properly reset and allow soldiers, families and friends to reconnect,” the Army leadership said in a joint statement sent out to all soldiers. It was signed by the Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, the Army Chief of Staff, General George Casey, and the Sergeant Major of the Army, Kenneth Preston.

“You have chosen a most noble profession,” they said. “With your families standing with you in support, you have borne the increased stress and burden of this war for our Army and our Nation. A grateful Army and Nation thank you.”

No matter what you may think about the war, I think it’s fair to say that almost everyone stands by the troops who are all professionals. They volunteered to serve their country and they’re trying to do the best they can under extremely dangerous circumstances. We worry about them. We wish them only the best.

– Wolf Blitzer


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. CE, Wisconsin, USA

    The Army and Marines have been broken thanks to the incompetence of this man. They are operating bone on bone at this point.

    April 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Chris in Va.

    Peter, what does your comment have to do with the issue stated on this blog??? Get a grip and get deprogrammed. On to topic: Let's get our military out ASAP. They are merely targets in a hostile environment. As soon as there are no American targets left, Americans will be forgotten and the fine Middle Eastern peoples will go back to targeting each other as they have for 3000 years. We removed the threat of Saddam Hussein for our Saudi "friends", and how do they thank us? By raping each and every American citizen with $112 per barrel oil prices and refusing to increase production. With friends like them who needs enemies?

    April 11, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Patrick

    The troops chose to join the US Military. Guess what folks? This is the real risk of joining the US Military. Pre-emptive war is now a reality in this lovely democrazy. Live with it. And I do believe this is smoke and mirrors. Maybe members of the military industrial complex should not so blindly follow the Republican party and begin to stand up for what is right. I'm sick and tired of all of the "support the troops" non-sense. This was not a draft. If it was, we'd all be OUTRAGED. If taxes were substantially raised like they NEED TO BE to pay for the war we'd all be outraged. Lazy Americans sitting on our BUTTS like we're playing war games with GI JOE figures. War is real. When you join, it's a reality. YOU CHOSE IT.

    April 11, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. kelly WI

    No matter who is president the troops won't come home until the time is Right or it will be a bigger problem down the road.
    Iran wants us gone. Then you will see the oil prices really go up.
    They have patience and a long term plan. Americans have a short attention span.

    April 11, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. vern anaheim,ca

    hello wolf,as a ex infantry soldier i think it's great to have the tour of duty in iraq reduced to 12 months,our men should not be there anyway and it grieves me to know these men are dying for nothing

    April 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. martin w Dixon

    thanks for all the good work and may God bless you all

    April 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. Dierdra, OH

    This man should never be allowed to rest. if he thinks he can crawl back to Crawford and play golf. Think again. He should suit up and go over to Iraq where he sent the troops.

    I think the first 100 days for the next president should be all about Iraq and our troops. It is not fair. GW is a maniac.

    If John gets in, he will send more troops, if Hillary gets in she may not keep her promise. So we are torn between a warmonger and a dishonest woman.

    My vote goes to Barack.

    Obama 08

    April 11, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. Stephanie, DE

    Okay, so let Barbara and Jenna suit up and go to war. There father wants this war so much. Keep them over there for 15-20 months and see how they like it.

    Bush and Cheney should be tried for war crimes. Again Bush is the worst president in modern history. No wonder he couldn't find a VP. No one wanted to be on a moron's ticket, oh except another moron, Cheney.

    Obama 08

    April 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Moses, IND

    GW's picking his toes in the White House while our men and women are dying. I'm so fed up, and disgusted by this sad excuse for a leader. He is jerk and a coward, and so is Dick Cheney. And Karl Rove, that rat, didn't even stick around to watch the ship go down. He jumped ship faster than you could say investigation. Morons, all of them. Sad excuses for Americans.

    People are dying and he's watching the presidential clock, idiot.

    April 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. Harriet, NV

    We need to get out if for no other reason then to regroup and recuperate. Those guys will never make it. After 15 months, you are just worn out.

    Bush will be playing golf soon, while our men and women are still dying. Let's open our eyes, let's do something.

    The only people who are happy about the Bush administration are the CEO's and the Oil mongers.

    Oil used to be $28 dollars a barrel, now it is $111. Thanks George Bush, you really changed my life, and not for the better.

    April 11, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Bernice

    I LIVE IN A MILITARY COMMUNITY AND THESE FAMILIES ARE SUFFERING IN SO MANY WAYS. AND THIS NOT KEEPING THEM THERE FOR 15 MONTHS, BUT ONLY 12 IS A JOKE! MOST ALL OF THEM HAVE BEEN THERE TWO, THREE, FOUR , TIMES NOW ADD THAT UP AND SEE IF IT COMES TO JUST 12 MONTHS X 4 =48.
    THEY LET THEM COME HOME FOR TWO WEEKS.

    AND YOU TALKK ABOUT HARDSHIPS? MY FIREND HAD TO LEAVE HER 6 MONTH OLD BABY OTHERS HAVE HAD TO SHIP OUT RIGHT AFTER THE THE EIGHT WEEK MATURNITY PERIOD IS OVER. FATHER HAVE NOT SEEING THEIR CHILDREN. MANY CHILDREN ARE UP AND WALKING AND TALKING BY THE TIME THEY FIRST MEET THEIR FATHERS.

    THEY ARE COMING BACK MENTALLY DISTURBED SOME EVEN TO THE POINT THEY ARE COMMITING MURDER HERE IN THE STATES, EVEN THEIR FAMILIES. DIVORCE RATE IS OUT OF THIS WORLD! THEY ARE OVER THERE WORRING ABOUT THEIR FAMILIES THEY LEFT HERE. IT IS TOO HEART BREAKING!

    WIFES HAVING NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS, CAN YOU IMIAGIN BEING WORRIED FOR YOUR LOVE ONE FOR THIS AMOUNT OF TIME ON END. SINGLE SOLIDERS COMING HOME TO NOTHING BECAUSE THEIR HOMES HAVE BEEN BURGARIZED AND ALL THEY HAD IS GONE.IT GOES ON AND ON.

    THEY NEED TO BRING THESE MEN & WOMEN HOME!!!!!!!! THEY ARE NOT ROBOTS HOW MUCH DO YOU EXPECT HUMANS TO TAKE BEFORE THEY BREAK!!? AND THEY ARE BREAKING. HELL IF IT'S TOO MUCH FOR IRAQ SOLIDERS THAT THEY ARE SITTING OUT IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY, WHY DO WE EXPECT OURS TO WITHSTAND ALL OF THIS IN A FORIEGN LAND.

    THE DEATH OF THEM IS HORRIBLE, BUT THERE'S MORE THAT THEY GOING THROUGH THAT THE MEDIA DOES NOT SHOW!!!!

    IT IS CRUEL TO KEEP THEM THERE ANY LONGER!!! THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO! BRAVE! BUT HUMAN!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. CHERYL

    HILLARY IS THE ONLY ONE SMART ENOUGH TO GET OUR PEOPLE OUT OF IRAC SAFELY!!!!!!

    OBAMA IS AN IDIOT!

    LOOK AT WHAT HE IS DOING NOW WITH THE NASTY COMMENTS ABOUT PENNSYLVANIA!!!!

    HE IS JUST LIKE REVEREND WRIGHT!!!!!!

    DOES ANYONE WANT THIS MAN IN CHARGE OF OUR COUNTRY AND MILITARY?

    I DON'T! CHOOSE HILLARY!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. CHERYL

    IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY YOU THROW AT IT!!!!!

    OBAMA IS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT!!!!!!

    HE WILL NEVER GET ELECTED!!!!!!!

    HE CANNOT KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT!!!!!

    THIS SHOWS THAT HE IS GREEN AS A POLITICIAN!!!!!!

    VOTE FOR SENATOR CLINTON!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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