Killeen: Local war veterans discuss Iran, Middle East concerns

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Since the death of the top Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, all eyes have been on the United States, Iran and the Middle East.

Those watching include the men and women who have served and fought on the front line.

For those who have served, like Vietnam War veteran John Footman, seeing Soleimani go down was the right decision, he says.

“I think our president did the right thing to protect our country. This guy had been watched for years and somebody needed to stop him,” Footman said.

In recent days, 3,500 soldiers have been called to the Middle East. Tensions are high with the fear of another war on the minds of many.

Tracey Brown Greene has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She remembers the moments of deploying to face the unknown.

“I’m praying I come home safely. I’m praying everything will be alright at home. I’m praying my family will be good, but I still got to fight,” she said.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump told the nation he is ready to embrace peace. This comes after missiles strike a base housing U.S. troops Tuesday night in Iraq.

Seeing the attack brought back memories of war for Footman.

“I thought about…all it came back to me as plain as day what happened to us in Vietnam,” he said.

With the talk of the Middle East, many turned to social media. The hashtag #WorldWarIII has trended daily and filled with memes and humor.

For some veterans, those jokes are not funny.

“For the people actually putting them out there, they don’t understand the severity of the situation. Because when you say it’s World War III, if we look back at World War I or World War II you have to think about the destruction. Right now, we have soldiers going out into a battle zone they have no idea what they’re about to face,” Brown Greene added.

Earlier, Vice-President Mike Pence told CBS News he believes Americans are safer today since the death of Soleimani.