Iraq Veterans React to President's Speech - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/08/03

Iraq Veterans React to President's Speech

Two more US soldiers were wounded in Iraq in an attack that came less than 24 hours after President Bush spoke to America about the war on terror and in Iraq. He said that no matter how long it takes, the United States will be victorious.

"Two years ago, I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war, fought on many fronts in many places," the President said. "Iraq is now the central front. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there and there they must be defeated."

President Bush also asked for an additional $87 billion to help fund the war effort. That's in addition to the $79 billion Congress approved in April. WTOC spoke with some Third Infantry Division soldiers to find out what our military think about the President's speech. Most of them have just returned from Iraq and last night's speech from their commander-in-chief really hit home.

"I believe the president made a conscience speech to make Americans understand that since the war started, it needs to be finished and it's better done in the Middle East than in the streets of the US," said CW3 Karl Keirmayr.

President Bush hoped to quell criticism at home and around the world for his handling of postwar Iraq. He requested more funding to continue the course and although some say that's a hefty price, Third ID soldiers say it's worth every penny. "We were over there, saw what it was like to hand out food and water and see kids' smiling faces, and that's what the American public doesn't get to see," said Capt. Tory Burgess.

If the third ID is called to duty again, Capt. Burgess says the military will not hesitate to answer the call. "If the job isn't finished--I believe in it and the soldiers that were there believe in it, and in the job that they did, and we will go back."

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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