PTC soldier supports troop surge


1st Lt. Dan Berschinski, who lost both his legs several months ago in an explosion while his Army unit patrolled in Afghanistan, is supporting a plan to add 30,000 troops to the country to battle Taliban forces.

In a brief clip of an interview played on ABC News early Wednesday morning, Berschinski said the new troops will be “a plus … a nice increase in manpower.”
“And then hopefully everyone gets to come home,” Berschinski said in the six-second clip.

In a speech Tuesday night, President Barack Obama said the troop surge will allow the U.S. to “accelerate” handing over security to Afghan forces.
Obama said he wants to begin transferring U.S. forces out of Afghanistan in July 2011.

Berschinski, who is recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, has undergone numerous operations and is taking part in a physical therapy program. He also has been outfitted with artificial legs.

It was at Walter Reed that Berschinski met President Obama several weeks ago when the President visited the hospital. Berschinski later was invited to attend Obama’s Tuesday speech before 4,000 cadets at West Point military college.

The ABC News report said once the 30,000 troops are in, it will bring the total forces to about 100,000.

The ABC News account also quoted the president as saying to build infrastructure in Afghanistan, the U.S. will have to funnel money away from the Hamid Karzai administration and into the hands of local governments.

Obama has roundly been criticized for taking several months to act on the recommendation by Gen. Stanley McChrystal for a troop surge to improve security in Afghanistan.