View Full Version : Iraq vets say war is noble cause, but some change needed

06-29-05, 01:39 PM
Borrowed from Mark aka The Fontman

Iraq vets say war is noble cause, but some change needed
Jun 29, 2005

WOODSTOCK - An Iraqi father shoved his burned baby into Brett Brendel's hands.

The 7-month-old's face was charred, said Brendel, 22. Her ears were melted to the sides of her head, and her flesh was raw.

"He begged me to help, but I knew there was nothing I could do," Brendel said.

A 2001 Woodstock High School graduate, Brendel sterilized the burns with ointment and wrapped gauze around the baby's head. Then he placed the child into her father's arms.

This experience, one of many during his 15-month tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Iraq, left Brendel feeling helpless. But, he said, it revealed to him how desperately needed American soldiers are there.

However, Brendel and his roommate, John Krausen, 24, a 1999 Woodstock High graduate and fellow Iraq veteran, said they thought certain changes needed to be made to better fight the war on terrorism.

American troops are spread too thin around the world, Krausen said, and those in Iraq lack the supplies and equipment needed to achieve their goals.

"I love Bush, but something has to change with the way we're doing stuff," Krausen said. "But we can't pull out. [Iraqi citizens] will get more slaughtered than they already are."

Brendel, in Iraq from spring 2003 to August 2004, spent most of his duty in Baghdad, Karbala and Fallujah with the First Armored Division. Krausen spent from January 2003 to May 2004 as an Army sergeant with the Fourth Infantry Division. He spent the majority of his time in Abu-Sayda, in northern Iraq.

Krausen said Iraqi insurgents once hung "a little old lady" because she waved at him.

Efforts to help such victims and stabilize the country are hindered by media coverage of the war, Brendel and Krausen said.

Iraqi insurgents watch American TV news shows and laugh that Americans do not seem to support their own country because of slanted and negative coverage, Krausen said.

Many Americans just don't understand the situation, Brendel said.

"We don't ever think the war is affecting us because it's going on in Iraq," he said.

And Americans also don't fully understand the terrorist threat, Krausen said.

"I pulled outlined and detailed maps of Ohio off [an Iraqi] general's wall" during a raid, he said.

But both former soldiers agree that pulling troops from Iraq would cause more harm than good at this point.

Despite dealing with horrific situations, Brendel said he also was able to experience amazing things.

Brendel and his unit helped treat the wounds of dozens of Iraqis, insurgents and citizens alike, hinder the progress of Saddam's old Baath party supporters, feed children and more.

And many Iraqis appreciate the help, Brendel said.

One woman, dressed in traditional long robes and her face adorned with black tattoos, kissed his hand in gratitude.

"Not everyone can say they helped feed 50 million people," Brendel said. "I knew I was part of something special."


Joseph P Carey
06-29-05, 03:54 PM
Ha! Ha! I think if the privates were to run the war things would be very different! We would lose every battle!

The idea is to get the Iraqis up and fighting, not for us to do it all for them. Truthfully, I will be glad to see us go, but not before the job is done, and the Iraqi Army is able to take its place as the guardian of the population.

I agree with the President, No Time Tables! No telling the Enemy what our plans are! And, NO Retreat!

For Biden to say in a public forum that the President did not lay out a plan, only goes to show why he is a Senator instead of a General. You do not tell the enemy what you are going to do! It costs lives, and it is a stupid way to run a war! You don't give the enemy a time limit so as they can stock-pile arms and get money in their treasuries for the time when you leave! People like Biden killed more than 50,000 men in Vietnam! Jezz! You think we would have learned by now!

As much as I don't, or didn't agree with many of the orders I was given in combat, I followed them all! Mainly, I followed them all, because I do not know what the grand scheme of things are! It was not my job to know. It was only my job to kill the enemy that were foolish enough to stand in front of the sights of my M14! I did my job well. I only wish that Our Congress had done their job as well as I did!