Director of Vet Affairs talks Illinois' role in conflict in Afghanistan

June 21, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Flickr/Macomb Paynes)
Illinois National Guard soliders in Macomb, IL.

President Obama is expected to soon make an announcement about withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The timeline isn’t clear. But the pressure is-the President’s initial deadline was July. Roughly 100,000 troops are currently serving in Afghanistan. But even a quicker withdraw could leave tens of thousands of troops on the ground, possibly for years. So, what has this long-standing conflict meant for Illinois’ active troops and returning vets? Eight Forty-Eight spoke to Dan Grant, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, about the conflict and how Illinois serves returning soldiers.

A Soldier's Return

Eight Forty-Eight spoke to Sgt. Luke Austin of the Illinois National Guard. He was deployed to Afghanistan between 2008 and 2009 where he worked as a photojournalist in Kabul for the Guard. Sgt. Austin served on humanitarian missions aimed to help the Afghan people. But he said it feels good to be home. 

Music Button: Oval, "Episonik" from the release Szenariodisk (Thrill Jockey)