Iraq War veteran: "I would do my tour over again"

Refugees flee parts of Iraq Friday in a bid to find a safer place.

As insurgents continue their advance across Iraq, veterans from around mid-Missouri are watching as the military gains made during the war disappear before their eyes.

U.S. Navy veteran Robert Abernathy, who served during the 1980s, paralleled the situation to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

â??It kind of reminds me of another situation we had in the 1970s, when Vietnam was going on,â?? Abernathy said. â??Itâ??s almost exactly the same thing in my opinion.â??

Abernathy said he hopes the Obama administration considers the sacrifices soldiers make when he decides a course of action, but he thinks a military solution will likely be hampered by political gridlock.

â??This time, I think thereâ??s a lot more pressure as far as politics goes,â?? Abernathy said. â??I think once our country unleashes the power of our military, that they should be very thoughtful about that.â??

However, Iraq War veteran Jamey Ashal said she can understand why more boots on the ground may not be the answer.

â??I think troops on the ground worked for a while, but you cannot control a country by putting troops on the ground,â?? Ashal said. â??President Obama has been trying to get us out of there for a long time, and I appreciate that.â??

â??I have a lot of family and friends whose lives have been affected by this, and I do think we need to get out of Iraq,â?? Ashal said.

Both Abernathy and Ashal said if it came down to it, they would absolutely answer the call to serve again.

â??If I knew that I could go over and help them get to a peaceful state without a lot of people being hurt, Iâ??d jump at it. Absolutely. I would do my tour over again,â?? Ashal said.