Local veteran reacts to possible deployment back to Iraq - KPTV - FOX 12

Local veteran reacts to possible deployment back to Iraq

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

It has been nearly three years since U.S. combat forces left Iraq, and now President Obama may send more back in an effort to help the government in Baghdad stop a rebel insurgency.

Obama has ruled out putting U.S. troops into direct combat. However, there is a plan under consideration to place special forces in high security areas for training purposes.

This move has many Americans talking including local Western Mass Iraq veterans like Wilbraham native Pat Lynch, who enlisted in the U.S. Army back in 2007.

"I've always felt a kind of drive, you know, to serve," Lynch said. 

Fresh out of high school, Lynch was sent to Iraq for a 13-month deployment.

He was part of an infantry unit stationed in Baghdad.

Through combat patrols and sporadic fighting, Lynch and his team worked diligently to bring a stabilized government to the country.

"Our goal was to set them up so they could secure a better future for themselves in the long run," Lynch said. 

In December of 2011, after an 8-year presence in the country, U.S. troops returned home leaving civilians with that better future in mind.

However, now the city Lynch fought to protect may once again come under attack from an al-Qaida inspired group called the Islamic State of Iraq.

They have already attacked several cities in the country and are now aiming for the capital city.

Word of the attacks hit home for Lynch.

"You spend a year of your life over there trying to make things better, helping the community to give whatever stability you can kind of give to them. It's unsettling," Lynch said. 

Obama notified Congress on Monday that up to 275 U.S. military personnel have been deployed to Iraq to provide support and security to Americans and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Lynch's term in the Army doesn't officially end until February. This means if a deployment is put he place he could go back to Iraq. Lynch said that lingers on his mind.

As to whether or not more should be deployed back to the country, he said that is a question he debates often.

"Anybody that can lend a hand in some sort of way would be great. But this is one of those things that probably they need to work out for once and for all themselves," Lynch said.

There is no official word on how quickly troops could touch down in Iraq. It is also unknown where exactly they will be stationed.

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