After Iraq, Eastern Iowa Soldiers Say Focus on Afghanistan
DUBUQUE, Iowa- Thursday, the United States military formally ended the nearly 9 year, $800 billion dollar, war in Iraq. The war had a heavy toll. 32,000 Americans were injured in fighting. 4,500 died in the war in Iraq, including 49 Iowans.
Living and working at home in Dubuque is change of pace for both Captain Jared Parmeter and Sgt. Brian Pfeiler. Sgt. Pfeiler said, “our job was very important, we supplied basically the western half of Iraq with fuel and food." “I certainly feel a sense of success if you will. The mission itself was to establish and maintain a legitimacy of the government in Iraq and that’s what we did.”
Both men are members of the Iowa National Guard’s First Battalion, 133rd Infantry. The unit served the longest continuous deployment of any combat unit in Iraq.
Parmeter said, “Iraq yes, it’s very much a much a success story, but I’d rather not gloat on Iraq. Instead move towards something that I see, especially in the past two years, Afghanistan is more pressing issue. ”
Both Pfeiler and Parmeter more recently served in Afghanistan. Two months ago Pfeiler returned home from a Texas Hospital. Doctors amputated his right leg from the knee down after he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. It’s important to both soldiers to keep the focus on the Afghan mission.
Pfeiler said, “I would hope we could get to the same place there as we did in Iraq.”
Parmeter said, “I would very much like to see the Afghan Army, the police stand on their own two feet and take interest in their own country the way the Iraqis seem to have. “
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