The Lincoln Journal Star interviewed several returned members of my old unit, the 1/167 CAV and members of the 1/134 Infantry's Long Range Surveillance Detachment about their experiences in Iraq.
Q: Did you follow the news regarding the war while in Iraq? What are your opinions of the coverage?
A: "I will answer these questions as one. The single question I get asked is if it is as bad as people see on the news. Yes and no. It is a very dangerous place, however, there is so much more going on than IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) and car bombings. How many Americans know how many schools that Coalition Forces, primarily the U.S., have built or rebuilt? Or how much infrastructure we have built from the ground up? Many Iraqi civilians now have access to clean drinking water and reliable electricity for the first time in decades. More Iraqi children are able to attend school now than at any time in the last 30 to 40 years. The major media outlets choose not to cover this news for their own reasons. It is frustrating to know that we are making progress in this part of the world, but no one here knows it due to the lack of that kind of coverage. It is my personal opinion that we can not leave too soon or all of the progress we have made at such a high cost in lives would be wasted. I can think of no better tribute to our fallen service members than to make sure that our work there will last and that the Iraqi people will someday be able to govern and protect themselves.
— Spc. Jay Nutter, 41, of Panama, and his wife of more than 17 years, Laura, have three children. A medical laboratory technician with Physicians Laboratory Services, he joined the Army the first time right out of high school and then left it behind for nearly 20 years before deciding to join the Nebraska National Guard early in 2005. He was assigned to the 134th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Surveillance) and was stationed at Camp Anaconda near Balad, Iraq."
I'd like to again thank all of the Nrbraska Guard soldiers for their service, I know that the 20 month deployment was a difficult and often dangerous one, and that unfortunately not all your conmrades made it back to us. A grateful veteran salutes all of you for your sacrifice and dedication to duty and country.