bin Laden's death of particular interest to some in Grand Strand - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

bin Laden's death of particular interest to some in Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The news of Osama Bin Laden's death carries a special significance for military veterans.

Chris Aranda who now works at the Veterans Affairs clinic in Myrtle Beach said he was glad to hear the news. He once served in the Army in Iraq.

"It was a good day," Aranda said. "{It's} something that we've been waiting for."

Aranda is a regular customer at the Veterans Café in market common. It is right across the street from the clinic. He came to the café Monday, where he talked to owner Lou "Mash" Mascherino, who is a Vietnam veteran.

"You get the ace of spades out of there, then I think they're pretty much done as far as a big terrorist group," Mascherino said about al-Qaeda.

Vietnam veteran Phil Maney was also at the Veterans café Monday. He said he is glad to hear of bin Laden's death too, and he was most struck by the celebrations he saw on television.

"There's a unanimous feeling about that," Maney said. "That was good to me."

The public reaction also hit home with James Kaminski. He is part of another group - those directly affected by the 9/11 terror attacks - that considers bin Laden's death especially significant. He was a New York City firefighter the day planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers.

"To see them cheering and supporting because a lot of them were young kids..." Kaminski said before tearing up. "It gives you almost a sense of relief that all the work that's been done to try to find him was well worth it."

Kaminski knew eight firefighters who died on September 11, 2001.

Mike Fanning was a New York City police officer who knew family, friends and coworkers who died.

"I'm sure this will never bring their loved ones back, but I'm sure to have this section of history closed is good for them,' he said.

Back at the Veterans Cafe, Aranda said he hopes bin Laden's death changes the military strategy in the Iraq and Afghanistan area. He said now he would like to see more troops return home sooner than planned.

"Let's only hope that the region changes for us, and we're able to bring our troops back home," he said.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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