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Local veterans react to President Trump's Afghanistan speech

Posted at 11:52 PM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 04:36:55-04

People across our area are reacting to President Donald Trump’s Monday night speech regarding his plans for the future of the Unites States’ involvement in Afghanistan.

The Commander-in-Chief announced he intends to keep troops in Afghanistan, potentially increase the number of boots on the ground and send more money overseas for military operations.

The President said he wants to defeat terrorists, and strengthen the Afghan government to be able to protect itself from terrorist groups.

Local veterans reacted to the news.

Sgt. Jim Gaede, a local disabled veteran, served more than 20 years in the Air Force in Africa.

“I have mixed emotions about it. It’s not one of the countries that I would put at the top of my list to send troops to,” Gaede said.

He is not convinced Trump is on the right track.

“I don’t think we need to be sending our troops to Afghanistan,” Gaede said.

Col. Ulysses Maramontes lives in Jupiter and has spent many years in the military, serving in the Army in Desert Storm, Iraq and South America.

Trump’s plan for Afghanistan is something he will watch closely. He does not believe resources should be removed suddenly from the country.

“It’s a very serious decision and that decision needs to be weighed by all the subject matter experts,” Maramontes said.

He wants to know certain factors are in place, “That we have the confidence that the Afghan Army and government and people are on board.”

He’d also like to hear Trump answer a big question of his. “Did you base this decision off the input from your generals? If you said yes, that would be great,” Maramontes said.