Veterans react to president's announcement to keep troops in Afghanistan

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - President Barack Obama announced plans Thursday to keep troops in Afghanistan beyond his 2016 deadline. Under the new plan, our current force of 9,800 will stay the same through most of 2016, drawing down to 5,500 by early 2017.

Belinda Corley helps out at the VFW 2434 in Biloxi. When she heard about the president's plan, she wasn't sure how to feel.

"You really want them to be home with their families, but you know how much it takes to keep a country free," said Corley, whose husband is a veteran."It's a long journey for military families."

Veterans at the VFW had a wide range of views on the president's decision. Some said they think it's the right thing to do.

"I think its a great thing that he leaves them there, I wish he would send more," said veteran Eric Williamson. "Our troops are needed in that region."

"I think he's doing the right thing. If we bomb some people, we're gonna bomb the wrong people unless we have people on the ground or nearby with intelligence," veteran Dr. Tom Logue said.

But a handful of vets said the war resembles Vietnam.

"In 'Nam, we shoulda never been there. And we shouldn't be where we're at now. We should be taking care of this country," veteran Cal Worrall said.

Others believe it's time to pull out.

"It makes no sense to talk about continued training for people we have trained for 10 years and it has not worked," said veteran Le'Roy Carney.

Even with the mixed feelings, the veterans at the VFW all agreed on one thing: Our troops need support.

"I encourage every American to support a veteran's family, children, and also write to the troops, support our troops," veteran Jocelyn Miles-Mathis said.

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