WWII Veterans Talk About Impending War With Iraq - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/21/03

WWII Veterans Talk About Impending War With Iraq

Guy Stratton reminisces about the weeks he spent on Iwo Jima in 1945. The bloody battle on the Pacific island left him with shrapnel wounds on his right knee and wrist and a lot of unforgettable memories.

Veteran Guy Stratton said "You smell that old sickening sulfur smell of gunpowder, you see guys get shot right by you, and you were just trying to survive yourself".

While the survivors of the World War Two invasion focus on the war of the past, they also talk about a war that could break out any day now with Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. Some veterans compare him to Adolph Hitler.

Stratton said "We got a man now that he's determined to keep his mass destructive weapons and stuff, and maybe it's better to get rid of it now than let him continue to build".

Veteran John Sbordone said "The United States has never been known to cause war, we're only trying to prevent actually something that's going to happen down the line. Saddam Hussein is just dragging his feet. I can't see how we can stay out of it. How they can not do something about it really"?

Many veterans are confident it's a war America will win. Sbordone said "This is a whole new ball game, all new weapons, a whole new strategy. Can you imagine what a time we would have had with night goggles when the Japanese every night was trying to get us and cut our throats"?

The veterans know all too well the casualties of war, and they have some advice for troops bracing for possible conflict. Sbordone said "If you don't have any religion, get it quick, and pray to the good Lord for protection. And do your thing, because I know I love America as the next person, and I would go through it again if I had to".

More than 6,000 soldiers were killed in the Battle of Iwo Jima. The veterans reunion, going on at the Broadwater Towers in Biloxi, ends on Sunday.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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