Fort Bliss soldiers who served in Iraq weigh in on new conflict

EL PASO, Texas -- Few Fort Bliss soldiers who deployed to Iraq are surprised the country's government faces a violent insurgency two years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

"I had served in Iraq, and it's one of those regions where if you're not there for a day, the completion changes almost instantaneously," said Joseph Lynds, a soldier at Fort Bliss. "I have full faith in our command that they're taking a look at the problem."

President Barack Obama is sending 275 troops to Iraq to protect the U.S. Embassy and personnel in Baghdad as security deteriorates. Obama called troops home in 2011.

More than 200,000 military personnel from Fort Bliss deployed to Iraq in both combat and to train Iraqi forces to protect their country once U.S. troops withdrew.

Sectarian fighting and attacks by the extremist group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, threatens to tear the country apart.

RELATED: Analysis: As Iraq and Syria fail, new states on brink of emergence

"It's sad to see us do so much work in an area and leave it as stable as it was and just have it fall to the wayside," said soldier Thomas Van Tassel.

Obama has said he will not deploy combat troops to engage in new fighting.

"I do agree with President Obama's comment we will not send more combat troops back into Iraq. But I do believe they still need help, politically and support-wise." said Van Tassel.

"We don't currently have any soldiers in Iraq, nor have we been tasked to provide any at this time," said LTC Lee Peters, a Fort Bliss spokesman.

Even so, some military spouses are worried that could change as the security situation continues to deteriorate in Iraq.

"It's a sad day that we live in, that's for sure," said Sharon Crownover, whose husband is a soldier. T

he couple has two small children and she's thought about the possibility of his deployment.

"It's scary," said Crownover.


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