Back to Baghdad: Local Iraq War Veterans Weigh In - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Back to Baghdad: Local Iraq War Veterans Weigh In

Updated:
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Local Iraqi War Veterans say they are frustrated with the news that President Barack Obama plans to send 275 U.S. troops into Baghdad to beef-up security at the American Embassy.

Justin Bond of Hanford lost a leg, just months into the fighting in Iraq.

"I took an ak-47 round through the center of both knees. It ended my career early in the military," he says.

Since then, Bond has kept up with developments in Iraq—from the toppling of Sadaam Hussein’s government, to the elections of new leaders.

But these days, much of the news coverage is over the attacks and gains by the militant group Isis.

The group has been described by many as barbaric—taking over areas that terror groups once held, the U.S. took back and handed over to the Iraqi people.

"We freed these people… I was a big advocate for bringing everybody home, but we needed to leave a base there and a force there,” Bond says.

“Now, you want to go in and put boots on the ground, guess what? It's gonna be another Benghazi. Another big situation to lose a lot of troops, to regain what I already lost a leg for.”

“For these people to come in and completely destroy what we had breaks my heart,” says Jeremiah Hinton of Fresno.

Hinton served two tours in Iraq during his ten years in the military.

“My first tour we couldn't walk down the street without getting shot. And my second tour we were able to walk down the streets and it was more a show of force,” Hinton says.

He agrees with Bond.

Monday's announcement to send troops back to Iraq is the result of bad planning—and not leaving troops behind.

“You look at Germany and Korea, we're still in those places right now,” Hinton says.

He says he lost three close friends on the same day in the fighting in Iraq.

But to know that the U.S. is sending hundreds of troops back into Iraq, “makes it feel like they gave their lives for nothing,” Hinton says. "War is barbaric. It sounds like they have no soul. They don't care about life."

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