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Troops worry about defense, job cuts

3:11 AM, Jan 18, 2013   |    comments
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
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VICENZA, Italy -- The soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team have gone to war five times since 9/11, and 84 have been killed - including 13 during their current deployment to Afghanistan.

But when members of the unit had a chance to ask U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta questions Thursday, the top issue on their minds was jobs.

How would the impending budget cuts affect civilians at their post? And what will it all mean for their spouses and family members who work on the base?

Panetta had few answers as Congress struggles to reach an agreement that would avoid massive budget cuts. But he made clear his anger with Washington lawmakers, saying they risk possibly making constituents mad, while the troops are putting their lives on the line.

(Associated Press)

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