May 23rd, 2008
03:43 PM ET
11 years ago

Blitzer: Remember the soldiers

Blitzer: Some soldiers are serving their second or third tours in Iraq.

Blitzer: Some soldiers are serving their second or third tours in Iraq.

(CNN) - On this Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to spend some time talking about the approximately 140,000 U.S. troops still serving in Iraq. They may not necessarily be in the news all that much right now, given the high interest in the race for the White House, but I think about them a lot. Maybe, it’s because I used to be CNN’s military affairs correspondent at the Pentagon.

I also think about their families here at home. Some of those troops are now serving their second and even third tours of duty there.

I spoke about it with Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, the commander of U.S. and multi-national forces in the northern part of Iraq. I taped an interview with him from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown north of Baghdad. The interview will air Sunday on Late Edition at 11 a.m. ET.

Gen. Hertling has certainly sacrificed for our country. This is his second tour of duty there. He has two sons in the military who also have served in Iraq. He also has a daughter-in-law who served in Iraq. He clearly speaks with authority on this subject.

So when he noted that he had just come from a memorial service for a soldier who had been killed in Iraq, I paid special attention to what he had to say. He told the troops at the service that many Americans back home on this Friday were thinking of ways to leave work early to start their long Memorial Day weekend. The men and women serving in Iraq have no such luxury. They are still busy fighting a war. He makes a good point.

Whether you agree or disagree with this war, this is a good time for all of us to remember what those troops are doing, to honor their service and to pray for their safe return home.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Roxy


    May 23, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Al Briggs

    Just in time for Memorial Day!
    Wolf, your words, however true, ring hollow in light of the other 364 days of the (many) year you have spent disparaging everything we in uniform do.

    May 23, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Gerald

    It is my continued prayer that all of our soldiers remain safe and under God's care. When I was a soldier I had to remember that who ever the president was we had to support our commander. I am so sad for the way our soldiers are being treated, the out sourcing of jobs that the military used to do. When I was in we did everything and it did not make our military weaker. After seeing how our military has suffered because of the incompetent leadership and PX Cowboys that now run the greatest fighting force that has ever been, there should be revolt and outrage. I know that no self respecting American can ask the question: Are you better off today then you were 8 years ago? The answer would have to be in the negative, unless you are an oil man. Would someone please turn the clock forward? It is time we take care of our military, we owe them a debt we can never repay. Let's get behind Congress and past that GI Bill for our soldiers, sailors, and marines. They may have volunteered but that does not mean that we should forget their sacrifice, we need to take care of them especially the disabled and the family members of the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Is it asking too much for someone who was willing and gave their lives to pay for their college? NO!!! I am and will always be proud to serve my brethren and sisters in arms of United States Military, the greatest figthing force known to man.

    May 23, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Michael Templer

    We should remember the troops

    Remember that many units don't have the proper armor

    that there is war profiteering going on

    They need more troops and bullets to train the Afghan Army

    I remember how the military was treated during the 70's

    in grade school i lived in a complex with 20plus marine families close to El Toro.marine base.

    shortly after Vietnam

    we can't let these things keep going this way

    we need at least 100,000 more combat troops

    and while McCain's statement about Obama not serving is true

    where is everybody else outside of his family

    Cheney never served
    Bush served the national guard to stay out of Vietnam which would not
    keep you out of combat now.


    if you believe we are at war why are so few serving???

    are we cowards?

    9-11 proved the most successful people can become casualties

    we need 100,000 more army and marines

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Tex

    Bush, McBush and Clinton should all be ashamed of their political ambitions and warmongering and reflect on the 4,000 plus American lives lost because of greed, power and politics. How many 100.000 Iraqi have died?

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Wayne

    Thats the problem. We dont know what our troops are doing. They dont know either. McCain says out after 4 more years of war, as if 6 years has not been enough.

    No Saddam, no WMDs and you wont find Osama in the question remains..why the hell are we still in Iraq? Is it worth hundreds of billions of money we dont have? If we leave, will a country with no airforce, navy or army actually follow us back and attack us? If so, why didnt Vietnam do the same?

    Obama is the only, obvious choice but Americans arent that bright. Look at our school system.

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Franky

    "Whether you agree or disagree with this war, this is a good time for all of us to remember what those troops are doing, to honor their service and to pray for their safe return home."

    You know Wolf, I've always supported our soldiers ever since the war has begun. I'm never critical about what our President has done in the last terms he was in office. I just hope there will be some sort of answers to come along with this but it is very important to honor and appreciate our soldiers who sacrifice for our country.........I just hope Wolf that they are sacrificing for the right thing, I sure hope they are.....

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Terry in Fl

    They're going to have to come home and fight on US soil if Obama is elected. We'll have terrorists openly fighting in the streets. Democrats unite in keeping this trojan horse OUT of our White House!

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Tom

    We're trying to remember the soldiers by voting for Barack Obama.

    Obama 08

    May 23, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. matt

    maybe Wolf, you should "think about" your role of sending these men and women to iraq. The media sold the American public this war, and you played a major role.

    May 23, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. Keith

    YES!! remenber the Soldiers and BRING THEM HOME! O8ama.

    May 23, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. The Patriot

    As a Vet myself, I will submit a request to you Obama supporters, to PLEASE keep your political rhetoric off this blog. Take is somewhere else where it doesn't take away from what our soldiers do everyday of their lives. K? Thanks, I appreciate it.

    May 23, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Nina

    I thought this was to honor the troops not bicker about the canidates..I guess some people can only support if you have somemething hateful to say about a canidate as well. God bless our troops and all who served! Arnold...Looking forward to you being home man!! Proud of all you do and done for this country! I know you are reading these so don't forget that your former army buddies love ya! I'm sure you are laughing it up about some of the blogs here but please keep in mind the real supportive ones!! Bartman says hey!

    May 23, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  14. 2012

    Wayne, the one correct thing in your post is the fact that some Americans aren't that bright. You are the living proof.
    You, and the rest who chose to politicize this blog and spew your hate and ignorance need to learn one simple word.....RESPECT!

    Proud Vietnam Veteran......Our Cause Was Just

    May 23, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. Bill, Covington

    Noemi in Los Angeles, Ca
    And a whole bunch of the rest of you mental midgets:

    God Save America you say ...over and , over, and over....

    The people that saved America, some of them my friends, others I never knew. You will find their renainson Iwo Jima, Guam, Tinian, Truck, Pelalu, Bouganville, Siapan, Okanawa, Makin, Midway and others that sometimes fade from memory in my advanced years.
    What may I ask has the Negro-Caucasian ever done for this country. We know he listened to his hate spewing, mentor pastor for 20 years, we know his wife hates this country, we know he has befrended and sat on a board with Bill Ayers, a terrorist, we know he sat on the board of directors of the "Joyce " Foundation, a foundation that funds any anti 2nd amendment group they can find.
    I ask again....What has he done for the country?
    I enlisted in the USMC to go shoot Japs, What has he done????

    May 23, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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