Military Families Weigh In On Proposed Plan To Strike Syria

As President Obama presses Washington for permission for a U.S. military strike on Syria's government, military families are weighing in.

Many central Texas families remained skeptical Tuesday, while some leaders on Capitol Hill are backing the President.

He brought them to the White House Tuesday to make his case for the strike.

House Speaker John Boehner agreed degrading the Assad regime's capabilities needs to be done after an August 21, chemical attack in opposition territory left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children.

There is still bipartisan uncertainty.

And though the plan doesn't involve boots on the ground, local military families are afraid it will come to that anyway.

"We're just ready for the entire thing to be over," said Army wife Raynesa Jonas about the current war in Afghanistan.

She and her husband Jason were both in the Army when the war began in Iraq.

Jason has deployed 3 times in the decade-long conflict, and the idea that no boots would be on the ground in Syria doesn't have Raynesa convinced.

She said, "I think the concern is that's what they said in the beginning of the Iraq war, and it took so long, and we had so many troops over there, and it turned into that long, long war."

Wounded Vietnam Veteran Rocky Hernandez lost his brother Manuel in Vietnam, and now his grandson is in Afghanistan.

He's convinced threats of retaliation from Syria and Iran will mean more war for his loved ones.

"After all this war experience that me and my family has gone through, I do not believe that we should be involved at all," Rocky said.

Vietnam Veteran Robert Gulick supports U.S. military action, with one caveat.

"I don't believe in gassing children or innocent people, that's wrong, take [the regime] out, but no American troops on the ground," said Robert.

At a press conference in Killeen Monday, U.S. Congressman Roger Williams, (R-TX 25), echoed the groans of his central Texas district, saying the mission, exit strategy and cost need more explaining.

"There's frankly not a lot of appetite in my district for going to war when we're bringing our young men and women back from the Middle East right now," Williams said.

Raynesa says, "We're trying to get back to our sense of what is military normal, and now we're having to look toward this."

Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Tuesday that what he and President Obama intend does not amount to going to war in Syria.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas

Photographer: Chris Buford


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