Fort Sill Top Military Officials Say Mission Still Not Over For Many Soldiers

Monday, May 2nd 2011, 9:31 pm
By: News 9

Jon Jordan, News 9

LAWTON, Oklahoma -- News of bin Laden's death quickly spread to military installations across the country and in Oklahoma. Soldiers at Fort Sill were excited as reality of what the military was able to accomplish sunk in.

For soldiers at Fort Sill, the news of Osama bin Laden's death spread like wildfire.

"They were all excited, and I couldn't find a single person that didn't know about it," said Command Sergeant Maj. Dan Willey, Fort Sill.

Willey, who helps run Fort Sill's Field Artillery School and served a tour in Afghanistan, said bin Laden's death was something he and his fellow soldiers had been looking forward to for nearly a decade.

"It's a good day to be a soldier," Willey said.

Brigadier General Tom Vandal has helped train many of the Fort Sill soldiers who have risked their lives serving their country in Afghanistan.

"It's an indication of the training and readiness level of all of our soldiers, all of our units over the last 10 years in this war," Vandal said. "I think it's a sense of pride and a sense of continuation of our mission."

And while some would like to believe that bin Laden's death was a sign of a "mission accomplished," Willey and Vandal said, for them and their soldiers, the mission is anything but over.

"We are still standing ready and vigilant because it is not over by any sense of the means," Willey said.

And while there was certainly a lot of jubilation among solider at Fort Sill, the one thing Willey wanted to remind people is that while Osama's death is certainly worth celebrating, there are more than a 1,000 Fort Sill soldiers who continue to serve in harm's way.