Emotions mixed after announcement to deploy

FAYETTEVILLE Thousands of Fort Bragg soldiers are already on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the thought of 4,000 more troops being deployed has the attention of the entire military community.

Margaret Cassidy said she is not surprised to hear that members of the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Afghanistan.

She watched with great interest Friday morning as President Obama outlined his planned. Right now, her husband is in Kuwait, and she knows he could end up in Afghanistan.

The possibility of that news is impacting the couple's 5-year-old son.

"He got to the point he don't know what to say to his father," Cassidy said. "When his dad call, he look at me with the phone and say, 'Mom, what to say?' And then for a while he was upset because he don't quite understand."

Molly Higgins is from England, and she supports the President's move to send additional troops to pursue Al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

"They were getting out of control, rather," Higgins explained. "And I'm sure that in time, the terrorists would have attacked other countries."

But Obama's announcement could not have come at a worse time for Anita Williams. The wine and beer industry is just starting to feel the impact of the weak economy, and the deployment is going to hurt a lot of business.

"It's going to be devastating," said Williams, Bob & Sherrie's Wine Shop. "It's devastating when our soldiers are gone because they don't come downtown. Families don't come downtown. They're waiting for their soldiers to come back home, and we will be waiting for them too."

President Obama did not discuss a timeline for the soldiers' return, but they will deploy in the fall.

Copyright © 2023 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.