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Local veterans react to situations unfolding in Middle East

Posted at 11:03 PM, Jan 07, 2020

Many veterans on the Central Coast have served in Iran and Iraq. Tuesday night some shared their reactions to the situation unfolding in the Middle East.

"Iran is not a good country. They're evil, they've killed Americans, they've funded to kill Americans and it's something we need to end," said Army Veteran Robert Tolan, who was stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"These groups are coming in and are bullying a group that doesn't have the means to defend themselves. We have to maintain that until they're capable," said Operation Iraqi Freedom Air Force Veteran Justin Trammell.

These veterans say seeing attacks on U.S. troops like what happened on Tuesday night is difficult to watch from home and reignites their call to serve.

"I will be talking to a recruiter this week to see if I can get waived to go back," Trammell said.

"Not being able to help, you kind of feel helpless at times and you want to go back over there. A lot of things that are happening now, especially the last few years, were things we knew were going on and stuff we hoped were going to take care of when we were in. Now we're sitting here watching it on the news, glad somethings getting done but also worried about our brothers and sisters who are currently over there right now," Tolan explained.

The two believe there's still a need to keep a U.S. presence in the Middle East and wish that more people would talk to veterans to learn about the realities of what's going on overseas.

"See what the real story is because they're not all bad people there's just bad apples in there that's ruining them all and we gotta get them stronger," Trammell said.

As far as those who are active military on the Central Coast, both Vandenberg Air Force Base and Fort Hunter Liggett currently have heightened security at their base entrances. Base staff have posted on Facebook that now everyone in a vehicle trying to enter will need a pass and form of identification and they're asking everyone to remain vigilant.

Congressman Salud Carbajal tells KSBY in a statement: "Our fears of escalation with Iran have sadly come true with the most recent attack. My thoughts are with the U.S. troops and personnel stationed in Iraq. I am outraged as this series of events was avoidable. It is now more important than ever that this administration's recklessness stops and that cooler heads prevail. We do not want war."