Local Families Applaud Iraq Troop Withdrawal | NBC Southern California

Local Families Applaud Iraq Troop Withdrawal

Many Southern California military families were pleased, but skeptical

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Southern California is home to dozens of military bases and families. President Obama's announcement on the Iraq troop withdrawal was being closely monitored. (Published Friday, Oct. 21, 2011)

    Candida Torre wants to believe what President Obama said Friday. She wants to believe that the 40,000 troops still in Iraq will come home, alive, unlike her own son.

    Jose Torre, just 21, was an Army combat engineer. He was killed in January by a rocket propelled grenade.

    His mother says she would never second guess his decision to enlist.

    "He died for our country," she said. "He died for our freedom. I believe in what he did."

    She wonders about Obama's promise.

    "Unless he says every one of them is coming home, I’d say err on the side of caution," she said.

    Laura Sharma's son will be home in a matter of weeks.

    "We should never have been there," she said.

    Matthew Serrano went straight to Iraq out of boot camp. He is an Infantryman, whose platoon was deployed in April.

    Sharma says she tried to talk her 25-year-old son out of joining the military.

    "I knew the reasons we were there, but I didn’t believe in it,” Sharma said. “I think our kids should have their own destiny."

    Sharma and Torre have different opinions about the Iraq War, but they are working together toward a common goal.

    They're raising money for military families who are unable to pay for things like baby showers and burial transportation costs. They sell bracelets made by the soldiers and think about the history of all American wars.

    "The American people need to look back," said Torre. "All wars were fought because nobody could agree on what we should be doing."

    Both women are working with an organization called "Honoring Our Fallen."

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