Shooting spree has families anxiously awaiting troops safe return

Posted at 10:43 PM, Mar 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-20 00:06:40-04

Chesterfield’s Jerry Rowe says seeing the protests and hearing the cries of the Afghan people for Americans to leave only makes him worry more about his nephew Michael.

He’s a specialist in the Army on the last leg of a year-long tour.  Jerry wants things to calm down quickly so his loved one can come home safe and soon.

The deadliest month in the ten years of the war in Afghanistan was seven months ago, August, 2011.

But with the recent high profile incidents of soldiers burning the Koran and now Staff Sgt. Robert Bales accused of killing 16 innocent Afghan civilians, including nine children, many here at home fear that the deadliest days have yet to come.

“My stomach goes in knots,” says Rowe.  “These people just don't think the way we do."

Rowe says Michael is supposed to come home soon, but points out in Afghanistan, a country growing ever more restless for American troops to leave, and ever more unstable, American soldiers don’t really have an exact date of departure.

“They are preparing to possibly come home, but they’re also trying to maintain peace around there and that's nerve wracking," said Rowe.

For soldiers and civilian contractors, the bulls-eye has always been there.  But Rowe says with the latest shooting the target has gotten a bit bigger.

Rowe says he would’ve liked the President to have pulled troops out as soon as Osama Bin Laden was killed.

And in conversations with his nephew, he’s come to realize that if something involving Americans goes wrong, the perception is that all Americans are evil.

"Because of the ignorance of some,” says Rowe,  “they then have to go through more training and pay for it."

Michael Rowe is serving his first tour in Afghanistan.

His uncle says the Army specialist is looking forward to furthering his education while traveling the world.

The names of the sixteen shot dead by Sgt. Robert Bales, per his own confession, were published on the Al Jazeera international website. The website reports that nine of the dead were children and three were women.

Read that full article here.