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High Desert veterans react to Iraq situation

By Femi Abebefe
Published On: Jun 14 2014 01:12:42 AM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Femi Abebefe talked with Central Oregon veterans about the worsening situation in Iraq.

BEND, Ore. -

President Barack Obama said Friday we will not again sent U.S. troops into combat in Iraq, despite the deteriorating situation there.

NewsChannel 21 spoke with veterans across the High Desert to get their reaction.

“Probably about one of the best decisions that he's made since he's been president as far as I'm concerned,” said retired Marine Zin Watford.

“Putting troops back on the ground -- I don't think is a good idea,” said 24-year Navy vet Jerry Hollis.

“My veteran brothers are dying because this idiot doesn't know what to do," WWII veteran Jack Cooper said.

J.W. Terry, president of the local Band of Brothers chapter, spoke with us on the phone about his biggest concern.

"It would be awfully tough to put our boys back in there and not expect a real fight and losing a lot more people," Terry said.

Another veteran echoed those sentiments, saying he believes we don't have a purpose in Iraq anymore.

"It's a waste of our brothers, and I’m tired of seeing my brothers killed for no reason at all," Watford said.

But Cooper believes otherwise. He thinks after being in Iraq for about a decade, we have invested too much not to send over more troops if need be.

"They knew what he was going to do,” Cooper said. “They heard him say it, and they just sat back and waited for our troops to go -- and then they attacked. That’s exactly the same thing he's doing in Afghanistan."

With a lot changing in the past decade, not to mention recent days, Hollis doesn't think now is the time to live in the past, and that we must assess the situation in front of us.

"We made the decisions we made at the time, we moved in, did what we thought was right, moved back out again, and I just don't think it's a good time for us to be second-guessing where we're at,” Hollis said.

With opinions all cross of the spectrum, the main concern expressed by most veterans is the safety of our troops.

Our latest KTVZ.COM Poll, on the right side of our home page, asks if you believe the U.S. should play any role in resolving the worsening conditions

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