Some Local Vets Say More Troops In Iraq Is Not The Right Move

The commander of the Biloxi VFW Post 2434 says the sending more troops to Iraq is not the answer.

"It's useless. Really, it's a slaughter," says Willy Rhodes, commander of Biloxi VFW Post 2434.

But, he and other veterans say although they disagree with the president's latest plan, it does not undermine their patriotism to the country.

"I'm a patriot. I support my troops a 1,000 percent. My son was over in Iraq. He was 19 years old.  He was in the first Gulf War," says Rhodes.

Instead, they say their stance not to support a troop increase is more about getting the country's priorities back in order.  They say such priorities should include getting troops home, holding the Iraqi government more accountable when it comes to taking care of its people and taking better care of troops who come home.

"God knows how many amputees and handicaps and The VA is so packed right now, we can't even treat our own veterans right now," says Rhodes.

Rhodes and fellow veterans question the president's priorities, when there is so much still be done at home, especially in hurricane ravaged South Mississippi.

"I think they need to take care of the people at home first.  We just went through a natural disaster here about 16 to 18 months ago," says Bruce Ketzel, Airforce veteran.

"Take two weeks money they was going to send to Iraq and we could have our Ocean Springs bridge built have four schools built but no deaths. And everybody's be happy," says Rhodes.

At the Ocean Springs VFW Post 5699, one veteran who supported the increase of troops in Iraq, says he believes the U.S. needs to finish what it started.

And David Belcher, a retired army veteran, said he supported sending more troops only if it would keep troops in Iraq safer and the Iraqi government followed through with their part to help secure the county.