In the United States, the war in Iraq has generally increased patriotism and support for troops. For one Indiana youth, the patriotism has a more personal tone.
Keith Fromme, 14, Ferdinand, last saw his father, Patrick, in February, when he left for Iraq to serve as a command sergeant major in the National Guard.
"I'm proud that he is serving our country," Keith said in a recent video-conference call. "I'm for it, for the troops and for the war. I support what we're over there for."
Keith often watches CNN for news on Iraq. He says his father's assignment is "not really on the front lines. He's back farther. He's more like guarding places and stuff." Keith doesn't know when his dad might return home.
News coverage often includes images of protesters. "I just think they're wrong, and I don't really pay much attention to them. I just usually turn it to a different channel when they come up," Keith said.
He has noticed one difference between protesters abroad and those in the United States.
"Every now and then I see the other countries burning the American flag and stuff, and I don't really like that. But like the protests that are going on inside America, I never see them burning flags," he said.
The news is not Keith's only source of information. He also learns about Iraq through e-mails, phone calls and occasional letters and pictures from his father.
Keith takes his dad's assignment in stride. "It's pretty normal, almost a normal job, but just a little bit more dangerous," he said.
The commitment to serve began with Keith's grandfather, who served in World War II. Keith also has two uncles and two cousins serving in the Middle East.
Keith plans to enlist, too.
"When I'm 17, I am planning on going into the National Guard just as basic infantry. Then I am planning on switching over to the Army when I get out of college, and I am gonna plan on flying aircraft," he said.
REPORTERS: Hannah Feick, 13; Elizabeth Newkirk, 13; Jessika Officer, 11; Kaitlin Stallings, 13.