June 18, 2014
As militants try to make their way to Baghdad, here in the United States, Iraq war veterans are reacting to the that news the country the helped try to stabilized is now in chaos again.
In 2003 Jeremy Pleso was deployed to Iraq with the United States Marine Corps. Now more than 10 years later, Pleso watches from America as militant extremist expand their grip on the country he fought to stabilize.
“It's heartbreaking. It's disturbing and it angers me because there is nothing that myself or any other solider can do at this point in the game.
Pleso enlisted in the military in 1996. He says the comradery lead him to re-up for four more years in 2002. Thinking of his brothers in arms is in part what makes him worried about the crisis in Iraq today, as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria gains ground in their attempt to take a permanent hold of the nation.
“After the first deployment I got out of the Marine Corps. But knowing my buddies who went two or three times after that. After the third or fourth deployment you start to question, what is the objective? What are we there for, and what's the timeline?”
The last of the U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but earlier this month President Obama announced plans to send nearly 300 troops back to the country to defend the embassy in Baghdad. Pleso hope military leaders will make careful considerations before taking any next steps.
“We need to put politics aside and understand that this is real flesh and blood that are going over there to try and make differences. You just how to reflect on the last 10 years on how many lives were lost, how many tax payer dollars were spent and for what? What was the reward of are hard work and efforts?”