Family Member's of 875th React to Iraq Study Group Report

December 7, 2006--Posted at 5:15 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - The Iraq Study Group has come up with 79 recommendations, but co-chairman James Baker warns there's "no magic formula'' to solve the problems in Iraq.

Baker says staying the course is "no longer viable,'' though he warns a quick U.S. withdrawal would invite a wider regional war.

Since September, the men and women of the 875th Engineer Battalion have been busy serving the citizens in Iraq.

While Wednesday's report was somewhat grim the soldiers and their families are positive the 875th is making a difference in Iraq.

"My husband actually told me that he thought he saved some lives today. He's talking about the Iraqi citizens, innocent people. He tells me he feels good about it so whenever they locate something they are supposed to be locating he is very proud," said Carrie MacDonald.

MacDonald not only has her husband Sgt. First Class Dean MacDonald serving in Iraq, but her son Specialist Jeremiah MacDonald is also with the 875th. Both believe in the work they are doing for the Iraqi people.

"He has told me that he has not met a person yet that hasn't been kind to him," said MacDonald.

Following President Bush's remarks concerning Iraq, MacDonald did agree the situation was grave and deteriorating and changes do need to be made.

"As the enemy changes their strategy against us we have to also change so that we can accomplish the mission we started out there," said Carrie MacDonald.

MacDonald believes it is imperative we stay the course in Iraq. And while she would love to have her family member's home, she feels it is more important we start what we finish so that we don't have a big problem down the road in Iraq.

"I think if we do duck and run, I think we will return to the Middle East. It will be much worse for us as Americans," said MacDonald.

The bi-partisan group that made their recommendation to President Bush called for a great diplomatic effort as a way to begin moving troops out of Iraq responsibly. No matter what is ultimately decided concerning the war torn country, MacDonald feels America should remain united.

"Whether we back the President or we back the politics behind it, I think we need to support our troops and support our leader," said MacDonald.

MacDonald says she speaks to her family members regularly on the phone and through email. She hopes to see both her husband and son home in Paragould in the next couple weeks, as they receive their two week leave during their deployment.