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Well it's been ten years since the start of the Iraq War Doug Collins served as a chaplain in the air force reserves for almost the entire time.
He's now congressman from Georgia and joins me from Atlanta to give his unique perspective on the decision to invade Iraq and how we should proceed for the future welcome congressman.
Florida -- experiment.
You have a unique background and I am and I I senate because you are chaplain as well as a congressman and tell about your decision.
To join the military.
Well I think you -- it comes to my background my father was a state trooper here in Georgia how is this race sort of would have he was a National Guard down here as well.
Is this something you've been in my family and it sort of from that background so when I came to extension of my faith an extension of my service.
I want to be a part of Adam and me being a chaplain provided that opportunity.
When you think it's been ten years since the US invaded Iraq -- Do you think it was still a good decision.
I think there's Simpson the senators concerned about it -- you know in -- in hindsight I think this is the question was asked you know -- -- -- Is we're talking about this is is a thousand congress at that time what -- -- to it to go to war and and the question -- -- have been yes at that time and -- they would be all the information we had at that point.
I think since then there have been a lot of concerns that have been raised and other issues but I think also we look at it from a world view.
Iraq is now -- a chance to find its own destiny to find its own -- in -- and with its own people.
Out hope that they would take that freedom -- use it.
And I believe it from that perspective I think there was a it has some value and worth enemy and by no means what -- -- -- -- thing -- -- the lives of of our -- -- -- would have -- not work.
Obviously it's last little long -- a lot longer the conflict -- less -- a lot longer.
Then anyone would have expected what has happened to the military personnel and how they've been affected by.
Being in Iraq and then coming home and the challenges there.
Well I think that's the biggest unwritten story that we have we -- CN bits and pieces -- on some of the the news headlines about.
Jobs and you hear about how people would come back and really struggling -- -- -- I think what's really happened is over its ten year period you have multiple -- multiple times going back.
And relatively short times of reintegration.
So I think what it has it is is -- really made it difficult for people to transition from a war zone back to quote normal sleep and then back again and as a chaplain.
Dealing with -- individuals who are struggling with those.
Issues day in and day out I think is going to present -- not a problem -- -- much -- we're seeing run -- things can be a problem is we'll have to do within the future.
Is we go forward and I think those are also dealing with the injuries that we -- coming back people -- through this war.
We have horrific injuries will also -- on the -- of arms and inside and other things.
So I think we're gonna have to as a nation gonna have come to grips with what we're seeing out of this really a new variety of war and how we deal with the aftermath -- -- Does it make -- difference of this is that total.
Voluntary army it's not a draft and people are not enlisted you know against -- well whether they want or not does that make a difference in how.
They operate on the comeback or does it make any difference at all.
I think it they'd really it does make some difference because I believe they're there for our purpose they chose to go into the military just that I chose to go -- -- military.
I think the other thing that is unique in this world situation is how we use our active and tired of forces along with our reservists.
This war and the war in Afghanistan have had a tremendous strain and has tremendous are pulling from our reserve forces.
So we're not just seeing this in the active side but we're also seeing a reserve side in which it is a they have a daily job that they go back -- -- they deployed from -- -- home to.
I think we're seeing this -- any unique way it makes it a struggle for those we're just trying to overcome the day today struggles in life and also a bat.
And how important is faith and religion in.
For these and the lives of these military people come back how important is that.
Is it is very important and I think that's the one thing that you're faced with when you're a war zone is -- was -- -- were serving.
You're face to face with your own mortality -- -- -- -- or not whether you wanna talk about it on your face to face with things that most people don't like to talk about.
Files in Iraq how would get the questions and especially one that they just sticks out in my mind -- when a young man who was injured.
From actually get an Iraqi Nationalists in the army had shot -- -- -- -- and several -- one actually who was killed and others are seriously injured.
Are mirroring on the back of the plane and he asked me this question he looked at any -- -- why did they do this soon to make.
He's a while they do this we -- -- their friends we did more harm -- I think when you look at those kind of questions I think it at that point you have courage to look at your faith -- you have to be able to impart faith and the site sometimes we can't answer why the question is this was what now.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And what good things what kind of questions do servicemen normally asking if you could if you could sort of -- one question that comes up more often than anything else what is it.
I think the question -- economize and I'm doing right.
And I am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
And I think that goes back to calling and you might mention of the volunteer service in the army I believe that what they were doing you know was -- they're carrying out their orders they're they're being.
The lawyer you'll soldiers and -- to there military into the -- they were given Affleck look I wanna lectures that they were doing is is in -- were doing Iraq and I think that's what sets America apart from the rest of the war.
Is our military we go -- we do the job and we come home and I think so many town we've got all these are the arguments.
That was the argument that they want to know that what they did was ride and what they were doing was being appreciated.
Because it was such a sacrifice and a look at us as we get all the time.
How would go -- how should the United States go forward in how it treats its military and then how it treats them when they come home.
What should happen.
Well I think what we've got to do is recognize the sacrifice that being given -- -- -- sausages -- just the other day that said there's less than two million.
Americans would -- direct involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That's such say a smaller percentage of our population is sometimes we all know people who may or may not a win but is is number that is large but he can give blended in.
I think what would got to do is acknowledge those who are currently still fighting those who have came home.
And as we go forward we've got to look in there and realize that this is a generation that this is their pivotal moment this is their teen years of their life in which they've now.
Remember at a ten years these were folks who were not even in school yet -- -- now getting ready to graduate from high school who all they have known as the current situation orient so I think we know that our military members who have been there.
To look ahead -- of how they're -- adapt to life and how they're going to go for.
With the injuries that they may receive or just the memories that they received which come back to them is probably some of the most inopportune times or some of those times -- their quiet.
Is they look ahead we -- it is a nation to those who sacrificed so much to continue to be there for him and asked what I believe in congress tomorrow is -- to make a voice for those.
Who are coming back but also look at it from our nation as we budget priorities and that is part about what I believe our national party probably.
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