LAKE PLACID - During a speech at West Point last week, President Barack Obama announced his plan to send 30,000 more troops to war-torn Afghanistan in an effort to seal victory over Al Qaeda and Taliban forces.
The president's long-awaited speech was met with mixed reviews from politicians and the public alike. Some say Obama's 18-month timeline for withdrawal should have been left out of the plan; others wanted the U.S. to pull out of Afghanistan altogether.
But for some, like Lake Placid native Sean Kane, the president's address brought a sense of relief - and a sense of purpose.
Sean Kane is a captain in the Second Battalion 22nd Infantry Regiment, First Brigade Combat Team 10th Mountain Division. He's already served 15 months in Iraq, and on Monday he received his deployment orders.
"Now we're trying to get a finalized timeline for when we actually leave," he said. "It's nice to have some resolution."
Kane, 27, is a graduate of Northwood School. He attended St. Lawrence University and enrolled in the Army not long after graduation in 2005.
Much has been made of Obama's lengthy decision-making process leading up to Tuesday. But for Kane, the lag time between deployments is part of the job.
"We were all pretty excited once our brigade was off-ramped from our Iraq commitment; we basically went into a planning and training mode," he said. "There's obviously some questions floating around, we were all kind of wondering what was going to happen. But it's one of those things where when one commitment goes away you stand by and wait for something else to come down and until that happens, you enjoy the time you have at home with your family and friends."
On Tuesday, Kane was watching Obama's speech with some co-workers at his apartment in Watertown. His own reaction to the announcement was mixed.
"For me it's kind of a strange personal feeling because you sort of question what's going to happen," Kane said. "But up until they give us the go-ahead, you pull yourself out of the situation and not really worry until you hear one way or the other."
And as troops await specific orders, Kane says it's business as usual at Fort Drum.
"We continue to train for overall readiness without any specific mission," he said. "We make sure everybody is fit and that they're ready to go."
Some reports indicate that morale at Fort Drum is faltering, but Kane notes that just having orders is a boost.
"It makes things easier when you have an idea of where you're going to go," he said.
For Kane, the Army is his job. He's the air planning officer at Fort Drum, and while at home he passes time in his office planning air operations.
But the fact that he makes his career serving in the military doesn't make the reality of fighting in Afghanistan any easier for his parents.
"From the family side of things, my mom and dad are always concerned," Kane said. "My younger brother is in the army as well. For parents with two sons in the military, there's always a question of what's going to happen next. They start to try and mentally prepare themselves. But I think everyone sort of expected what happened Tuesday night and I don't think there was anything too surprising."
Sean's younger brother, Michael Kane, is an infantry officer in the Army and handles logistics for a company 130 strong. Mike served in Iraq as well, and is currently waiting to finish his time in the service.
Rob Kane - Sean's cousin - served two tours in Iraq. He signs out of the Marine Corp next week. All three men grew up and went to school in Lake Placid.
The debate over what course to take in Afghanistan will no doubt continue. Politicians will argue, the public will speculate, and the rhetoric will pile up.
But for Sean Kane and the rest of America's brave service men and women, there's a sense of relief in just knowing what's next.