Fathers, Sons And Brothers: Taking Account

Some Perspectives Change As The War Continues

About half of the soldiers in the Iowa Guard battalion didn't have to go to Iraq-they volunteered. They and their families are part of a small group of Americans shouldering the burden of the war. 60 Minutes and correspondent Scott Pelley witnessed a lot of sacrifice over nearly two years.

After their tour was extended, many of the fathers, sons and brothers came to a different view of the war and at home, wives were getting used to carrying the load alone.



Back in August 2005, Shannon Foote was in labor when the call to war came. She told 60 Minutes she would be "Supermom" while her husband, Denver, was away. But she struggled, working, living with her in-laws, raising her son, and watching Denver's tour extended.

"My feelings about the whole deployment has probably changed because I'm just missing him so much and I just don't think anything is fair anymore, I don't think the amount of time he's been over there is fair and I haven't really seen any progress," she says.

But Shannon is making progress at home. She has started her own business, a daycare, and bought a house her husband hasn't seen. Like other wives 60 Minutes met, she's getting help for depression.

"I know I've had my share of dealing with it," she acknowledges.

"I wonder how common that is among the other wives?" Pelley asks.

"Everyone I've talked to…[it] is really, pretty common," she replies.

For the guardsmen, though, there's no moving on. They're running the same vital but monotonous missions. Many, especially the younger ones, are questioning the war. Mike Ites and his son Josh used to be on the same page.

"I have the sense here that you guys don't see eye to eye on the war," Pelley remarks.

"That would be a true statement," Mike Ites acknowledges.

Asked what he is thinking, Josh tells Pelley, "I just feel that we will be here a long time. And it's going to take a lot more time than what people think back home to fix what's going on over here. From what I see, they don't want us here."

"Mike, you disagree with that?" Pelley asks.

"Yeah, I believe that we're supposed to be over here. Progress is being made," he says. "If you go back to 9/11 and what the people did there and when the president asked 'Do you want me to after these people?,' the whole United States stood up and said in unison and said 'Yes, we do.' He says, 'This is gonna be long and drawn out. Are you really sure you're gonna stand with me?' And they said, 'Yes, we will.' Well, now there are some that aren't because the American people are a 'gimme' people and 'give it to me now.'"

"You're a little bit angry that the folks at home have turned against the war," Pelley remarks.

"Oh, you could say that," Mike Ites admits.

"More than a little bit," Pelley says.

Says Mike Ites, "As I said, I believe in what we're doing."

  • Daniel Schorn

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