April 10th. "Congresss failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines, and others could see their loved ones headed back to the war sooner than they need to, That scenario is unacceptable, Bush said, noting he believes the American people would agree with him. April 11th. Tours of duty for members of the U.S. Army will be extended from 12 months to 15 months effective immediately, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Wednesday. "What we're trying to do here is provide some long-term predictability to our soldiers and their families," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon.