Local News

Veterans of Iraq war worry they fought for nothing

Posted June 18

— As President Barack Obama and congressional leaders debate how to respond to the growing insurgency in Iraq, veterans in the Fayetteville area are watching in dismay as the gains they fought for several years ago are quickly disappearing.

Matt McGuire, a former Fort Bragg soldier, was among the first inside Iraq in 2003, and he was deployed there a second time two years later. He said many veterans are "sick and disgusted" to see the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group quickly overrun much of Iraq.

"I think it's almost expected because we pulled out early, in my opinion, before the country was really stable," McGuire said Wednesday.

Obama, who visited Fort Bragg in December 2011 to welcome home troops two weeks before the complete pullout of American forces in Iraq, now is looking to send about 100 Special Forces soldiers back to serve in a non-combat training role for Iraqi forces. Another 275 troops have already been deployed to protect the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Fort Bragg is home to the Army Special Operations Command, but it's unknown if any of the Special Forces soldiers who could go to Iraq would come from Fort Bragg. Officials on post declined to comment Wednesday, referring all questions to the Defense Department.

Interactive: ISIS sweeps across in Iraq

The president has said he doesn't want to send combat troops into Iraq, and McGuire agrees that the U.S. doesn't need a show of force in the country.

"I think it should be small – direct targets on small targets to show that we're not going to put up with their mess," he said. "My concern would be that if we didn't do anything at all, that the country would go to ruins again."

He said he and other veterans of the Iraq war fear their efforts will be for naught if ISIS isn't stopped.

"A lot of friends of mine – veterans that have gone with me – felt really sick and disgusted by it. In my opinion, I think it's preventable right now," he said.

64 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • kermit60 Jun 23, 3:00 p.m.

    I hate it for the Iraqi veterans but we don't need to get involved again. We shouldn't of the first time. The only thing we'll accomplish by going back is making more dead, wounded or dismayed soldiers.

  • independent_thinker Jun 19, 6:37 p.m.

    It was Eisenhower (R) who began our military entanglement in Vietnam and Nixon (R) who pulled the plug.

    Bush/Cheney got bipartisan support through outright lies - they linked Iraq and Saddam with 09/11, which were never remotely related. Where's the outrage with years of lies resulting in trillions spent and thousands of lives lost coming from this administration? As I thought, silence...still...

    The troops were honorable and did their duty, but as predicted, they sacrificed for nothing, other than Halliburton, no bid profits. Actually, it wasn't nothing - they went into a country that had a bad deal with a brutal dictator and after all the blood and treasure, it's now worse.

    I wish we could review the transcripts of all the WRAL posters in 03 and 04 cheering on the invasion - they need to be reminded they were completely, 100% wrong.

  • Common_Sensey Jun 19, 3:01 p.m.

    Hate to say it, but Iraq was just the next "Vietnam". We did a lot of good building the country back up with Infrastructure and schools and Western values, but as long as their are military Muslims out there, it doesn't matter. We all know what the problem is in the world.

  • A cold hard dose of Franz Jun 19, 2:39 p.m.

    Democrats are good at losing wars. It makes them feel less guilty.

    — Posted by dirtydozen431

    Republicans are good at starting unnecessary wars with other people's blood and treasure.

    — Posted by 42

    Not only that, I can't think of any war a republican has won since the days of Lincoln. Anyone?... View More

    — Posted by European American

    Gulf War 1. I know, I was there.

  • justcommonsense Jun 19, 2:19 p.m.

    And no, I did not say that there was no justification for us to be involved in WWI or WWII. I never said it, never implied it. I was after all talking about other wars as well.

  • justcommonsense Jun 19, 2:04 p.m.

    Democrats are good at losing wars. It makes them feel less guilty.

    — Posted by dirtydozen431

    Republicans are good at starting unnecessary wars with other people's blood and treasure.

    — Posted by 42

    I seem to remember a couple of huge wars that were started by Democrats. WWI comes to mind... View More

    — Posted by justcommonsense

    Um, what? I think you may need to brush up on your history. Vietnam really didn't start having a... View More

    — Posted by NYtoNC81



    My apologies...no FDR had nothing to do with Vietnam. But, we were involved much earlier than 1955. In 1948 Harry S. Truman agreed, suggested, signed off on contributing money and supplies to the French war effort in Vietnam. Basically, both North and South Vietnam were not only fighting each other in regards to becoming a united country under communist rule...but South Vietnam was trying to rid itself of French colonialism.

  • NYtoNC81 Jun 19, 12:49 p.m.

    Democrats are good at losing wars. It makes them feel less guilty.

    — Posted by dirtydozen431

    Republicans are good at starting unnecessary wars with other people's blood and treasure.

    — Posted by 42

    I seem to remember a couple of huge wars that were started by Democrats. WWI comes to mind... View More

    — Posted by justcommonsense

    Um, what? I think you may need to brush up on your history. Vietnam really didn't start having a full-out conflict until 1955. Maybe you were thinking about the Korean Conflict but even if you were FDR was dead by then as well. Surely you didn't mix up World War II with Vietnam?

    And surely you don't think that Woodrow Wilson or FDR were not justified to have the US fight in either of the World War's?

  • justcommonsense Jun 19, 12:48 p.m.

    Should of had the CIA and Special Forces hunt Osama bin Laden and his horde of a couple hundred... View More

    — Posted by GOPtakersSociety

    Lots of sheep on both sides of the aisle... Obaaaahhhhhma and Buuhhhhhsh. Or whomever the current fave of the year, month, day is.

  • European American Jun 19, 12:48 p.m.

    Democrats are good at losing wars. It makes them feel less guilty.

    — Posted by dirtydozen431

    Republicans are good at starting unnecessary wars with other people's blood and treasure.

    — Posted by 42

    Not only that, I can't think of any war a republican has won since the days of Lincoln. Anyone? Anyone? Nope, not a single one.

  • wvufan4life Jun 19, 12:46 p.m.

    The bottom line is the countries in the middle east has fought religious wars for years. Common sense should of told us that the only way we change their culture is to take over. If we didn't want to take over, we should have stayed out and let them fight. We didn't win no war of terrorism with them. They retreated to hiding and when we left they came back out of their shell...business as normal.

More...