On a more serious note, all three Pentagon correspondents covered the decision by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to lengthen soldiers' tours of combat duty from 12 months to 15. It means soldiers may now miss being home for two Christmases, birthdays or anniversaries instead of one, a military wife told ABC's Jonathan Karl. Karl called it a demand for "sacrifice." Hyperbolically, NBC's Jim Miklaszewski called Gates' announcement a "bombshell." He noted that because the army is "stretched dangerously thin," the extension was the only way to maintain 20 combat brigades, some 160,000 troops, in Iraq. The extension applies not just to Iraq but to Afghanistan and Kuwait as well, CBS' David Martin reported: "It is only way the army can guarantee troops a full 12 months at home before sending them back."
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