The decision by the United States military to drop a massive 21,000-pound non-nuclear bomb Thursday in eastern Afghanistan in an area believed to be an ISIS stronghold isn't getting any immediate flashback from Cape veterans or officials.
"The military action authorized by President Trump today after a Green Beret was killed fighting against ISIS forces should serve notice that the United States will no longer be passive in its treatment of terrorists," said Congressman Francis Rooney, FL-19, in an emailed statement. "We must show strength in dealing with the ISIS savages that are responsible for the death of so many people around the world. I have promised that I would do all that I can to eliminate ISIS, and I fully support the President's decision today."
Others took a similar view.
Cape Coral Councilmember Rick Williams, a retired 22-year U.S. Navy veteran, said he would never support the firing of a nuclear weapon against anyone, but was OK with this action.
"If you drop 2,000 pound bombs all over the place, you usually drop a few dozen. I'm glad we're going after ISIS," Williams said. "I hate to see us get more involved, but here's a guy killing women and children in Syria and we have to put our foot down. The military knows what they're doing."
Fellow councilmember Richard Leon agreed.
"Our military is going after ISIS as it should with all weapons that are non-nuclear to help defeat them," Leon said. "We have an organization that has plagued the world. I think President Trump realizes that and we're going to take ISIS seriously and defeat them."
Others, including veteran Tony Mihalovich, commander of the Harney Point VFW Post 8463, took a similar view.
"The sole purpose of the bomb was to destroy the deep tunnels used to mobilize their troops, and it's about time. We should have done this years ago, but now we're taking it to task," said Mihalovich, a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Army. "Shutting down the leadership is an outstanding thing to do."
David Souders, founder of Wounded Warrior Anglers, said with reports still coming in, he didn't have all the facts. The U.S., however, wouldn't drop a bomb without careful deliberation, he said.
"I know that Secretary of Defense Gen. (James) Mattis, who was in the Marines the same time I was, with his character and knowing what a Marine he is, wouldn't do anything by chance," Souders said. "Civilians have no picture of what the whole picture is, just what the media tells us."