Oklahomans' Reactions Mixed To Iraqi Troop Withdrawal

Friday, October 21st 2011, 11:08 pm
By: News 9

Havonnah Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- While many Oklahomans support the war and American troops, President Obama's announcement of complete withdrawal of troops by years end is good news.

The news comes with a dose of reality. Time in Iraq may be ending but that doesn't mean all troops are coming home, one military mom points out.

Nathaniel David Mullins is Beth Mullins' only child and joined the military at 18-years-old.

"We missed his 20th birthday and Christmas," Mullins said. The announcement of the troop withdrawal by year's end made Mullins' day.

"I think it's great. It's time. It has been a while and sometimes you think have we overstayed," she said.

We didn't, according to veteran and military expert Steve Russell.

"Iran doesn't want a strong Iraq and they will try and destabilize the area. While we may be pulling out everything, even our country wanted to keep some troops there. They would not grant a status enforcement agreement, which means they would not allow any American soldier to be tried other than in Iraqi courts and of course we can't accept that," Russell said.

Which is good news for some 40-thousand American troops in Iraq.

"I was glad for all the men and women that are over there, glad for their families, glad for them that it's over there because you know they will have a Christmas," Mullins said.

Now Mullins is concerned Nathaniel will be sent to Afghanistan in January. Experts say while troops will be needed elsewhere, withdrawing from Iraq means they'll have more time at home between deployments.

To date, more than 4,400 U.S. service members have died fighting in Iraq. More than 30,000 others have been injured. The war has cost the U.S. more than $800 billion.