Families of Augusta's fallen Iraq service members welcome news of withdrawal

Ann Brown was watching television Friday afternoon in her Augusta home when she heard the news: President Obama will withdraw troops from Iraq.

“They’re going to be home before Christmas. Isn’t that the best news?” said Brown, whose son, Pvt. Algernon “Al” Ad­ams, died in Iraq on Oct. 28, 2003. Adams, a North Augusta resident and a graduate of Butler High School, was 36. He had been awarded a Pur­ple Heart after he was wounded by shrapnel in August 2003, and had been stationed with the Edgefield, S.C.-based 122nd Engineer Battalion.

Adams was one of 18 service members from Augusta and nearby counties who died in the war.

Brown said she thinks her son would agree with the withdrawal.

“He wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to die the way he did,” Brown said. “I think it’s good news for a lot of people today. We’ve lost too many boys and girls, husbands and wives over there. It’s time to bring them home.”

The president’s announcement came one day after the family of Sgt. Dennis Merck marked the sixth anniversary of his death in Iraq on Oct. 20, 2005. Merck’s 21-year-old daughter, Kenzie Merck, welcomed the news that no more soldiers, especially young ones, would risk their lives.

“This has gone on for years now, and we’re ready for our troops to be home and safe,” Merck said. “We’re finally putting the war in the past and trying to move forward as a country.”

Obama announces total troop withdrawal from Iraq
End to Iraq war halts Fort Stewart deployment

FORT GORDON SOLDIERS

Buz Yarnell, the public affairs officer at Fort Gordon, said Friday there are 750-800 soldiers from the post stationed in the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Special Section: The Faces of Iraqi Freedom

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