No questions about ongoing wars for Gen. Raymond Odierno

FORT WORTH -- On the day marking the 67th anniversary of Allied troops storming French beaches during World War II, the Army's presumptive next chief of staff received nary a question about the nation's current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during a public appearance in Fort Worth on Monday.

Gen. Raymond Odierno, who spent much of the past decade either in command at Fort Hood or leading the war effort in Iraq, delivered an address on leadership, followed by a question-and-answer period, before the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth as part of a two-day visit to North Texas.

"It doesn't happen very often," Odierno said of the lack of questions about Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which are reaching important political stages that will determine how much longer, and to what extent, the U.S. will continue its military involvement.

Polls show that increasing numbers of Americans want troops home from both wars.

Odierno, nominated by President Barack Obama to become the Army's top uniformed leader, was asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Pakistan, China, Libya and post-traumatic stress disorder. The fact that members of the World Affairs Council did not bring up Iraq and Afghanistan is not worrisome, he said.

But given that the all-volunteer, professional military of 1.4 million represents a fraction of 1 percent of the U.S. population, Odierno said military leaders must reach out and connect with communities around the nation.

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