Friday, April 13, 2007

Perspective: Longer tours upset Schofield families

A crescendo of complaints at Schofield Barracks greeted the Pentagon's announcement yesterday that all active-duty soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve 15-month tours instead of a year overseas.

The decision affects more than 7,000 Schofield soldiers who were at the eight- to nine-month mark on a deployment to northern Iraq.

Admitting that U.S. forces are "stretched, there's no question about that," Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the decision to the Washington press corps at the same time that senior Army officers were notifying commanders.

The way that families found out — from news reports, quite probably before the soldiers themselves got word — seemed to anger Hawai'i families as much as the extension itself.

Read the rest at the Honolulu Advertiser