Active-duty Marines based in Oceanside believe the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is complete and welcomed the news of an exit strategy Wednesday night.
Anthony Kindred hears the war stories from customers sitting in his barber's chair.( Thu Jun 23 07:41:15 PDT 2011 $__output )
“A lot of guys are tired,” Kindred said. “They are ready to wrap things up.”
“After three or four visits over there, back and forth, it just gets old,” he said.
Some of his customers come back injured or never return at all.
Once a Marine himself, Kindred listened closely to President Barack Obama Wednesday night.
"Starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer, fully recovering the surge I announced at West Point,” the president announced.
After the initial reduction, troops will continue coming home at a steady pace Obama said.
"Our mission will change from combat to support. By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security."
The Oceanside community is full of stories, including a huge loss to one particular Camp Pendleton-based unit.
The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, a Camp Pendleteon-based unit, suffered the highest number of casualties of any Marine battalion in the war.
“We just had a unit come back, 35, and they lost 25 marines so that's a hard hit,” Kindred said.
The death toll and the killing of Al-Qaida's leader are good reasons to bring the troops home he said.
“Especially after we got Bin Laden, it’s like why are we still here fighting losing lives, losing troops,” Kindred said. “Let’s worry about our own now.”