Utah veterans weigh in on decision to send troops to Iraq

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 16, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- On Monday the United States sent 275 troops to Iraq to protect its Embassy. Utah Veterans who served in the Iraq War weighed in on what President Barack Obama should do.

"You don't want it to be wasted. It's a lot of effort. It's a lot of people. Not just lives lost, but time lost. Time lost away from your families, a lot of worry," said Sgt. Michael Parker who was only 21 when he was sent to fight the Gulf War in the 1990's.

"I've reflected, ‘why did we stop the ground war, in that particular one, should we have?’ I still wrestle with that one myself," Parker said.

Capt. Brent Taylor with the Utah Army National Guard served in the 2007 Iraq War.

"It's really sad to see what's happening and to think so much blood, so much time from so many Americans," Taylor said.

Taylor had mixed emotions about the civil unrest in the country today.

"I really think it is sad to think about. If the whole thing falls apart, I think for the veterans like me of these wars, especially for those families of those soldiers who didn't come home, it will be really, really devastating," Taylor said.

Both veterans are wrestling with what the Presidents should do next.

"We've got to come up with some better plans and not make this all in vain," Parker said.

Taylor said he thinks what the President is doing at this point is probably right.

“He has a lot more information than we do. Sending troops back to Iraq I don't think it would really change it ultimately," Taylor said.

Taylor added that if called to serve again he would go, but he’s not sure U.S. Military action is the answer.

"I want to look at an Iraq in 40 years and say ‘look at that free country, look at those people that are working together.’ I was a little part of that as a young man and brave men that I knew and worked with, some of whom didn't come home were a part of helping this people get freedom," Taylor said.