Area veterans ponder wider war on terror with bin Laden demise
Local veterans who recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan expressed conflicted feelings Monday after the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death.
“It was just a lot of relief,” said Brandon Jamison, 30, who served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. As a Marine corporal, Jamison performed humanitarian missions in Baghdad — helping to rebuild schools and hospitals.
Jamison said he was surprised by the announcement as he, like many others, had suspected the al-Qaida leader already was dead.
“It’s been a long time coming, but now I keep wondering what’s next,” he said.
Jamison is worried that there will be retaliation and compared the event to the death of Saddam Hussein in 2006.
“I’ve thought a lot about this and I don’t think it will make a difference,” said Kyle Davis, 25, a veteran who served in Iraq from 2005 to 2006.
Davis heard about the assassination during a veterans fundraiser to support Western Slope Honor Flight, which took place at Tenacious Bros. Pub on Sunday evening.
“I heard screaming and cheers,” Davis said, “and they poured everybody a shot on the house.”
But, after the initial jubilation, Davis pondered whether the cost of killing bin Laden has been worth it.
“He’s gone and that’s a good thing,” he said, “but he didn’t have much to do with Iraq, so I feel really kinda conflicted about it.”
Paul Sweeney, chief of customer relations for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said there was “certainly a sense of relief” for veterans who had served in the global war on terror. However, no formal events to mark the occasion are planned by the VA locally.