Your Voice: Troops need more support
by Steve Abercrombie, Tracy
Aug 23, 2012 | 4011 views | 8 8 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print

“The fluffiest pancakes you’ll ever make.” “Make chips in the microwave.” “Classes at the gym the stars swear by.” These were some of the main headlines I read Monday morning when I went on Of course, there were headlines about the election and the unfortunate fires in Northern California, as well.

Last week, the headlines described how the White House said it was “outraged” that some punk rock band in Russia got sentenced to two years for being hooligans. Even other countries were upset about the sentencing.

Unfortunately, these headlines matter very little to a parent who has a son deployed in Afghanistan and another son deployed in South Korea. The headlines that catch my attention read “Another United States soldier killed by an Afghan cop.”

This week, the 21st soldier was killed in the past two weeks. Ten servicemen have been killed by people affiliated with the Afghan police or army. It was also the 32nd soldier killed this year by a turncoat — a so-called green-on-blue — attack this year.

I am amazed at the lack of outrage and anger from our administration and others regarding these killings. Yes, I did read that President Barack Obama was going to speak with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. As they say, talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.

If the president really wants to do something, then give our troops what they need to do the job correctly, or bring them home. This half-baked plan ain’t cutting it.

Here is my case and point. I received a message from my son, who is stationed in southern Afghanistan, to send food. It seems the mess hall that was run by private citizens has closed — downsized because we are planning to withdraw from the country. Well, isn’t that special. We sure the heck wouldn’t want some private company to lose business by supplying food to our troops.

As a result, we mailed our son and his buddies five large boxes of microwaveable food and other items. I have heard several other parents have had to do the same thing for their children.

I realize my kid is not at summer camp. I know he is in a war, and as the saying goes, “War is hell.” But I also expect that our leaders will make sure that he and everyone else serving is given the proper support and tools to get the job done right.

If the federal government doesn’t want to provide our military personnel with the proper equipment and supplies, then it is time for us to leave Afghanistan. It is time for all of the political rhetoric to stop and make a decision about what we are doing.

I am very proud of my sons and all those who serve or have served in these conflicts, wars or whatever you want to call them. I am just tired of reading about another young life lost or our dedicated service personnel not receiving the full support they need.

God bless all of our troops, past and present. I hope our current troops come home soon.

• Editor’s note: Steve Abercrombie is a member of the Tracy City Council.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
August 31, 2012
Sounds to me as if Nitegama is afraid to identify himself because he is an Obama supporter not because of his kid.

How would stating his name impact his child in Afghanistan.

Not buying it
August 28, 2012
We'll pray for your son and his buddies in Afghanistan. Still, don't lose sight of your blessings -- S. Korea is a beautiful country with friendly people, good food, and pretty girls. Your other son would be more in harm's way here in Tracy
August 28, 2012
Nitegama, Thank you for your sacrifice as a parent of a soldier in harms way, and thanks to your son for his service to our country, however.....

I believe you are being a bit of a hypocrite because during the course of writing "i think it is as DESPiCABLE to use this as a political issue at this time" you go on to make it a political issue by going on an anti Republican/Fox rant.

Although there's a number of issues you brought up which I can correct you on let's stick to one, the book coming out on the Bin Laden raid. I suggest you do a little homework and can start with:

August 28, 2012
Backinblack: Thanks for the reference..due to phone call i had from my soldier this last weekend i am very familiar with Adm. William McRaven orders concerning spec ops.

However it is not fox news responsibility to sentence the author by releasing his name..or do you think two wrongs make a right?

As far as the info released concerning spec ops and Osama's demise, that information was vetted by the Pentagon..according to the rules.

Now if you have any other corrections, or mis conceptions of what i wrote..feel free. I have a whole list of policies enacted by the present administration to help our soldiers in the field as well as our Vets. Of course i have followed the administrations policies due to my personal interest.

And Mr. A, it is due to the rank of my soldier that i post under a "silly name". I am sure you can understand.Thank you.

Unfortunately there are many needs in the field, I had a father of a soldier deployed with one of the first units to Afghanistan tell me just today that when he got there the equipment they had was horrible, old, deteriorated, after being trained with new equipment. The soldiers were told they needed the "good stuff" for training.

Thank you all for your concern.

August 27, 2012
As one who also has a soldier in So Afghanistan..this is his third time..first afghanistan, then Iraq, now SE afghanistan. It is deplorable that the private company has shut down the mess..I have heard of some messes being bombed..therefore our soldiers living on MRE's.

HOWEVER.. i think it is as DESPiCABLE to use this as a political issue at this time.

Just vote ROMNEY who stated that his sons working on his campaign was comparable to our soldiers in the trenches..and yes he was soooo for Iraq invasion he is hinting at need to send infantry back to Iraq and delay the honourable withdrawal from Afghanistan. My soldier who is special ops was more distressed by the ex seals with the despicable anti Obama ad..and Fox outing the ex blue Seal who wrote the books name. Contact your congressman Steve..if MRE's are good enough for the rest of our soldiers but not yours.

At least our soldiers have armor now..not under Bush, Cheney, Rummy (in fact my soldier was injured and was deaf for 3 days due to lack of decent equipment) and My soldier credits the present administration with armor that saved his life.

I don't know that i agree with the honorable withdrawals...but i found myself crying watching our infantry leave Iraq on the tube..and hopefully with Obama still in charge..will have that experience watching our soldiers leave Afghanistan
August 27, 2012

First please thank your child for serving their country.

In regrds to your post I have a few thoughts.

I was not making this a political issue. I am asking any decision maker Republican or Democrat to provide our troops with the proper supplies.

My son can and has eat MREs. I am not asking for special treatment. Again just want our troops to receive what they need.

Lastly if you ever want to be an adult and talk face to face let me know. I would be glad to share stories with you about our soldiers. Of course you know who I am yet you hide behind a silly name. How brave
August 28, 2012
I have also heard of this "food shortage". Can anyone confirm if it is a matter of no food or just having to eat field rations? (MRE's). If there is a shortage, something should be done re-open the mess with our supply-chain. If this is a temporary closure due to an attack then the Army should get it up and running asap. I have written my congressman about this issue and havn't heard back. Its not that we dont care, maybe the folks in charge dont. I feel for the guys who train these ungreatful fools. If they treat our troops like that, and the G cant stop it-then maybe we should leave and see how well they are treated by the former regieme. You should both be proud of your sons for having to put up with this BS. I dont know them but as a Vet-Thank them both for their service-most of us in town dont say that enough...what a shame. God bless em both.
August 24, 2012
Nothing more to say but Amen! These half-baked- politically correct wars just get our sons and daughters killed. Bring them home.

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at