Troop withdrwal good for families, businesses

February 25, 2009 1:20:34 PM PST
President Barack Obama's comments about Iraq troop withdrwal were received well in the Fort Bragg communty.The President's plan to remove all combat troops from Iraq by August of 2010 caught the ears of some military wives.

Alma Syer's husband is in Iraq and it's his first deployment. Her friend's husbands have been deployed several times.

"They figure out how to handle it," Syers said. "I think it's just staying busy. And a lot of the women [and] their husbands have been deployed multiple times. So, it doesn't even seem like it's that big of a deal. It's just a way of life for them."

Helene Griffin's husband just returned from Iraq. She says bringing the troops home sooner than later is great news for Fayetteville.

"It's amazing," Griffin said. "Two of my children barely know my husband. So, that would be good for daddy and his two younger children."

The possibility that troops may be coming home sooner than expected is not only a big deal to family members. It's a big deal to car dealerships like a local Chrysler Jeep, where the military makes up a big percentage of their overall sales.

"It's at least half our business," said Dan Dederick,Chrysler Jeep general manager. "It sure is. And you'll find that true throughout the retail economy and spreads to most of the service economy in this area."

The general manager for a Fauetteville Ford dealership says about half of his business is military.

"Fifty percent of our business is active military, said Pete Macey, Crown Ford general manager. "Either Army or Air Force."

And when businesses hear that they may be coming back sooner than expected, it exciting news.

"It has a huge impact," Macey said. "Not only on Crown Ford, but our local economy."

Signs of just how much the troops are missed are everywhere. The spending power is the major factor that makes the Fayetteville economy operate.

While everyone is excited about having the troops return from Iraq, they know it's only a matter of time before they're shipped off to Afghanistan.


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