By: Meaghan Dant
Chattanooga, TN– The war in Afghanistan has been the center of our nation’s focus since October 7, 2001. what initially was meant to be a capture and leave mission turned into a long over due stay, resulting in people’s lives being lost and billions of dollars to be paid in reparations.
As recently as 2006, CNN stated a staggering 60% of Americans opposed the war. This number may have chances of increasing when more troops are deployed. According to the Washington Post, Obama announced in March that he was pulling out 14,000 tro0ps but deploying 21,000 which totals the troops number in Afghanistan to 68,000.
Currently there are approximately 60,000 troops serving in Afghanistan. One of them is a man named Mike Fallon. Mike serves as an Air Traffic Controller and has been working as an approach controller, terminal environment for the past five years.
Mike has been deployed for five plus years, but this trip to Afghanistan is his first. Mike also has a son serving in Afghanistan with him and another in Iraq.
Mike does his job overseas on a day-to-day basis. “My deployment can end with no notice from either myself or my employer, as this is the contract I am under.”
While Mike faces many hardships in Afghanistan, he said the greatest personal hardship is being separated from his family. “My family lives in Pace, Florida, but I am able to stay in contact with them daily by either phone or e-mail.”
Along with personal hardships, Mike said there are things that make his job tougher professionally. “The terrain is very mountainous which limits the ability of the equipment I work with.”
Although a large percent of the U.S. population does not agree with the war, Mike said the general population in Afghanistan appreciates the work of the U.S. “I think it’s unfortunate a lot of the world hasn’t matured at the same rate (as the U.S.). The U.S. involvement was necessary and still is.”