Iraq, US and Saddam Hussein discussed on This is War

This is War
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Deployment. getting off the ship. I remember. And then you start hearing these weird little rumors about Iraq and Saddam, that's. That's what we started here in when we got back from that deployment in two thousand two early, we got back and we started going back out to the field and training all over again. Some guys were getting out. It was kind of a little bit of a change over period for that unit at the time. So I had only been in the Marine Corps for maybe you know, two years at the time and all the other guys that were already out the unit. A lot of them were were ESPN and of active service. So they were getting out and we were hearing stuff about Iraq in that we were training for that. All of a sudden out of nowhere. In retrospect, it is really easy to see where the escalation was heading, but as late as December two thousand and to the war in Iraq was still under debate both in the US and among the larger international community. But for many of the US military leaders, the writing was on the wall. Moreover, it is important to remember that training for war is one of the United States, marines top responsibilities. But at the time training for a large scale, invasion always felt a little bit more like a thought experiment, but we were already in Afghanistan. An escalation seemed to make a little bit more sense. The US was entering a new era in its military history. And with that came the uncertainty of future deployments, it was pretty big. The commanding general was talking to us in our member. He was telling us that we're getting ready to go on Christmas leave and that we needed to to have a good time. He told us, hug your loved ones. And make peace with God because we're going to end up going Iraq. I remember sitting in formation, I was like, goddamn, this guy knows something he must know something. You know if he's sitting there telling us that and we went on leave for Christmas and got back, and it was just full-scale where we're gonna leave. I found out on Christmas leave someone. I remember some call me and they were saying there's not going to be any leave extensions and. When you get back, we're shipping out. So you need to tell your family and stuff like that. I don't remember it being awkward at the time. I was so stressed. You know, at that point, the last place I wanted to go Iraq. I don't wanna have nothing to do with that because the guy was infamous for using chemical weapons. You know, that's that's scares me more than anything is getting hit an chemical attack. And I was pretty sure at the time that I was going to die in a chemical attack in Iraq. I remember having stress, I was stressed. Y'all just trying to, I was only twenty twenty one or twenty two at the time. You know, when I became clear to him that going to war was a legitimate possibility that one way or another, he would at least be deployed to the Kuwaiti desert. Lewis felt his mortality, which is a rare feeling for someone in their early twenties. It's also important to remember how present the discussion of chemical weapons were. Saddam Hussein had used them on the Iraqi Kurds just a little more than a decade before and the threat seemed both real and likely what Lewis didn't consider though was that there was more to be afraid of dying. And after the initial shock, the full weight of his impending deployment came down upon him. Once it registered, it would change his outlook as a marine and as a man as well. Tedious, making an appointment and then going to the doctor's office just to get permission to get something, you know, we'll make your life a little better. 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