Some military families in Tennessee say they're delighted to hear Friday's announcement that all troops will be leaving Iraq by the end of 2011.
"Happy. Happy. Absolutely happy. Ecstatic," said Staff Sgt. Michael Peckham, who is stationed at Ft. Campbell with the 101st Airborne.
Peckham served two deployments in Iraq and is recently back from Afghanistan.
"It's good for the families, and the soldiers that have families. They can stay back here and do some training here," Peckham said.
Sgt. Max Brown, also of the 101st, said he's glad to see that chapter of the war come to a close.
"Sometimes it takes a long time, but that's what it takes to get the job done. Glad to see it finally end," Brown said.
Friday, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, appeared in Nashville as the keynote speaker at a symposium on national security at Vanderbilt University.
The retired general speculated that leaving Iraq at the end of the year was the president's only option.
If American troops stay beyond the withdrawal deadline, the administration said, they wouldn't have legal protection and could possibly be tried in Iraqi courts.
"Iraq has been unable to find some way to give our troops immunity to stay there. In that case, the president doesn't have much choice. You've got to withdraw," Myers said.
As for leaving Afghanistan, Myers said he doesn't see that happening for a least a couple of years. Illiteracy is rampant, he said, and the country needs economic development.
"I think it will take decades to get to the point where Afghanistan is secure and stable. I don't think it's something that's going to be solved overnight," Myers said.
Commander Brian Allen served with the Navy in Iraq. He remembers coming home two weeks before Christmas in 2008. Allen said Friday's news will make for a joyous holiday season.
"It was a great announcement. I'm sure there will be a lot of people happy," Allen said.
"For the kids, the families, I don't think you could do it any better than that," he said.
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