Area Vets Reflect on Troop Withdrawal

 

While troops have been rotating through Iraq and Afghanistan for almost a decade, some veteran support groups are expecting an uptick in the need for veteran services after the last troops come home. Christopher Mcgurk of Belchertown is a veteran who now works for the "SAVE" program — a state service to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life.

“now you're going to see an influx in veterans into various systems and it's going to be a challenging time for a lot of service providers.”

But aside from the services that veterans will need to get jobs, housing, and other benefits — McGurk says the troop withdrawal is also bringing up intense reflection about what the war accomplished.

“I honestly don't feel any sense of closure. I lost good friends. I spent countless hours on patrol, and honestly i wonder what it was all for. There is some sense of pride being in the military and my unit was given a mission and we accomplished it. But beyond that, now as i see the withdrawal, i said — it's about time, but it's too little, too late.”

An estimated 4500 American soldiers died in Iraq since fighting began there in 2003. The Obama administration has said that troops will remain in Afghanistan until 2014.