President-elect Barack Obama has said he plans to bring American troops home from Iraq in just 16 months. But what do the soldiers think?
The young man I spoke with served four years in the Marine Corps. And while he's not speaking for the military as a whole, he definitely has some strong opinions.
"People need to get off their high horse who don't like war. Is it necessarily effecting your livelihood? Is it effecting your Starbucks or you taking your kid to the mall or the movies? No," said former Marine Corporal Chris Fernandez, candily, at an early TMCC Veteran's Day celebration on Friday morning.
"No one likes a war, but the fact is, there's always gonna be a war, somewhere some place. And eventually, the U.S. is going to have to step in."
Fernandez says he knows that the Iraqi war is an important issue for Americans, and could be part of the reason Barack Obama won. But he says most of those people will never understand what it's like to fight a war, so most will have no concept of the progress being made.
"There are a lot of things in Iraq people don't realize or even bother to talk about that are good. New schools, new hospitals."
When asked about Obama's plan to get us out of Iraq in 16 months, Fernandez says he voted for McCain But he but thinks Obama does have some good qualities.
"He knows that you just can't walk out of a country and expect it to be on it's own, without the support it has relied on."
Fernandez says as a veteran, and a man seriously considering another enlistment in the service, he says no matter what soldiers think of the election and America's choice, they're here to serve and respect that decision.
"No matter who is president, we will defend because that's our duty. It's more than just a man or a woman in the white house, it's an idea."
Under the Obama-Biden plan, the president elect says he will also keep a contigency force in iraq, after the majority of the troops are brought home...just in case.