Local veterans weigh in on situation in Iraq - CBS46 News

Local veterans weigh in on situation in Iraq

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The pictures coming out of Iraq are powerful and painful to many veterans.

"I have cried thinking about it the last couple of weeks," said Jules Toraya.

Toraya is a former Army Medic who served in Iraq in 2006 and 2008.

"My first experiences overseas were pretty positive, I worked in the medical field. I was there to support folks," Toraya said.

But Toraya said along the way he became disillusioned with the war, and the price paid in both lives and money. And he does not believe it's time for American troops to go fight again.

"I think we need to be a lot more transparent about our foreign policy and what we need to do. I just do not understand how this war is helping us defend our Constitution. I don't get it," Toraya said.

"It is very tough for any veteran. We've got a lot of Iraqi friends that we've left behind over there, so it is very hard to watch this on television," said Paul Rieckhoff.

Rieckhoff is also an Iraq War Veteran. He's the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA. Its goal is to improve the lives of veterans and their families. Rieckhoff said it's not up to him to decide what comes next.

"We know there are no silver bullet solutions. We have given our all as service members and now it is up to the politicians to figure out what is next. But I hope they remember and appreciate the sacrifice of everybody who died over there, everybody who was wounded and everyone who came home and aren't wounded, but gave a large percentage of their life," said Rieckhoff.

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