Hawaii families talk about recent Afghanistan fall-out

By Teri Okita

WAHIAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - President Obama is directing the Pentagon to "spare no effort" in investigating Sunday's shooting deaths of 16 Afghani civilians, including nine children. A U.S. solider is the alleged gunman.

Three-thousand soldiers from Schofield's 3rd Brigade Combat Team will be leaving Afghanistan within weeks - after a year deployment, but these last days will be critical. The Taliban is threatening retaliation against Americans, and we talked to worried spouses here in Hawaii about possible violence.

"I do fear for my husband. I fear for everybody involved," says Teresa Pipersky. Her husband will be deployed in Afghanistan until next February. She concerned about the alleged gunman's FOUR tours in Afghanistan and Iraq - and his past traumatic brain injury.

"It's maddening," says Pipersky. "The thing I worry about the most is: whether or not that soldier is getting the help that he truly needs."

Another Army wife, Jennifer (who doesn't want to use her last name), tries to keep focused and busy at work - but thoughts of retaliation naturally concern her. "Yeah, there's always something to worry about because we're not out there, so we don't see exactly what they see. And they, of course, to not worry us, they don't tell us what they see," explains Jennifer.

All service branches tell us they have family readiness programs that include counseling, "D-stress" hotlines, and 24/7 duty chaplains for both troops and spouses.

While the soldiers from the third brigade get ready to depart, Hawaii will still have thousands of troops downrange in Afghanistan. Currently, there are a total of five-thousand soldiers from Schofield's 25th Infantry Division and more than 1,400 troops from Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

The shootings prompted President Obama to make a swift decree. "We will make sure that anybody who was involved is held fully accountable with the full force of the law."

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