MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - For Lieutenant Colonel Danny Mclendon,
the hardest thing about returning from a five-month tour in Iraq
was that his two-year-old triplets didn't recognize him.
A 41-year-old Air National Guardsman who served in Iraq from
August to December 2004, Mclendon said he was horrified by the
"daily death and destruction."
Despite the hardships, Mclendon, a Montgomery native who also
served in Afghanistan in 2002, said he is willing to go back.
His sentiments were echoed by seven other Alabama soldiers from
different branches of the military who were invited to eat lunch
yesterday with Governor Bob Riley. All eight said they remain
committed to the mission to fight terrorism and are convinced that
the United States will prevail in Iraq.
Despite the horrors they saw and the fear they felt, all said
they saw signs of hope and felt like their work in both countries
is having an effect.