East Texas veterans weigh in on Iraq crisis


POSTED: Friday, June 13, 2014 - 5:36pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 10:30am

President Obama said nobody will benefit from seeing Iraq descend into chaos, but what the United States will do is undetermined.

The president is going over his options on whether or not to take action in Iraq. President Obama said as of now, he is not going to go forth with a military plan without a political one.

Local East Texas veterans who fought in Iraq said if we do decide to go in militarily, it most likely won't do any good.

"I hope we stay out of it and take care of our own," said Army veteran Ray Arreguin, who served a year in Iraq, rebuilding the city of Mosul.

"We set up a lot of Iraqi police academies, one of the first fully functioning independent police stations in Mosul," said Arreguin.

That was back in 2005.

"It was the crying achievement in my life, you know, to be a part of something like that, but what's happened now, I give my family a little more of my crying achievement,'' said Arreguin.

Arreguin said he is not surprised that this, happened again.

"When we were there, we knew inevitably at some point the tides would change."

Two tour Afghanistan veteran, Martin Montoya agrees.

"We gave them all the tools necessary, we trained them, we lost lives, we put our country in debt, and I think they are on their own now."

Arreguin said he doesn't want to look at it as if they wasted their time, but it's hard to see something you helped build shatter before your eyes.

"I hope we stay out of it and take care of our own."

Victor Zillmer served three tours in Iraq as a lieutenant colonel.

"It's just very unfortunate their country has come to where it is.''

If the president does decide to take military action, Zillmer said it wont work.

"We have the ability to destroy them militarily, the question is, do we have what it takes to win the peace afterwards and that's what we failed to do time and time again."

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I could not express my thoughts any better than Victor Zilmer whom has been there and sacrificed so much for us.We need to protect our homeland and try not to protect the whole world just like Korea we still keep troops there that's ridiculous.

Yes and to win the peace, as we did in South Korea, will demand we stay there for at least two generations. That's 40 or so years. We did it before and we can do it again but it takes a President, and the Presidents after them to be willing to go the distance.

But Obama, no, no one will follow that loser.

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