Vietnam veteran reacts to General McChrystal’s resignation

Following General McChrystal's resignation, a local man who fought overseas explains how a change in commanding officers impacts troops. 

Vietnam vet Matt Jones knows firsthand how decisions in Washington affect the front lines.  He says it was a different war and a different time, but the similarities give him insight about our troops in Afghanistan.

Jones spent two years in Vietnam's deadly combat zone.  Now plans picnics here in Nebraska for families of troops before they head overseas.

By August, Nebraska will send 1,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan, where the change up in commanding officer is the latest controversy.  Jones says he understands why General McChrystal lost his job.  “When you criticize your boss, which is the president at any other company, you do that and you're gone.”

He says a change in commanding rank trickles down to troops with boots on the ground, sometimes causing uncertainty for the ones on the front lines.  “With Patraeus, possibly it wont be as big, maybe not be as much of a change of policy on the ground.  It might not be as much of a shake up, but right now we don't know.”

What he does know as a veteran of one of Americas' most controversial wars is that you carry out your mission and respect your commander in chief.  “These men and women are doing their jobs.  Hopefully the support we give them will get them through this traumatic changeover.”

Jones talked with commanders of the seven Nebraska units that will head to Afghanistan this summer.  Some of those soldiers fought in Iraq under General Patraeus and say this may not be such an adjustment.