Saturday, September 13, 2003

Not Happy

From the LA Times:

The division's fatigue appeared evident in the response to the president's remarks. Bush's speeches at military bases are commonly interrupted repeatedly by sustained and frequent cheers. On Friday, while Bush got an enthusiastic Army "hoo-ah" shout when he began and a standing ovation at the end, most of the rest of his speech was greeted with polite applause.

Pvt. Kenneth Henry, 21, a radar operator with a field artillery unit, said the response was muted by the pervasive knowledge among the soldiers and their families that they will likely have to return to Iraq soon.

"How could you make these people feel better when you just said you're putting $87 billion into sending them back?" Henry asked.

Henry spent about six months in Iraq, traveling from Kuwait over the border to Nasiriyah and through the Karbala Gap before helping to take the Baghdad airport. He said he lost about 10 members of his unit, the Alpha 1-39 Field Artillery, and he's not eager to go back.

"What I heard him say was, 'You went there. You took names. Came home. Now you're going back,' " Henry said. "He likes war. He should go fight in a war for two days and see how he likes it."