Local veteran weighs in on President's speech - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local veteran weighs in on President's speech

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - While nearly 500 service members are heading back to the Middle East, the President promises there is no scheduled combat mission.

Millions of Americans watched the president during his prime time address on ISIS.

For Jeremy Bryson, it hit close to home. He is a local veteran from East Ridge.

It was an emotional 15 minutes as he learned his friends would be going back to the place he spent so much time himself less than 10 years ago.

"I can announce America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat," said President Obama. 

They were hard words to hear.

"A lot of people don't see the human side, the soldier side. I had a lot of friends die, so to go back is hard. To know I can't go back is hard," said Bryson.

But Bryson expected those words.

"It needs to be done. We should have done it the first time. I don't think we had a good policy, a good set of outlines of what we wanted to do the last time. It was like we went over there with no exit plan," said Bryson.

Bryson served two tours in Iraq, so he knows firsthand what these troops will face.

He says it's admirable the President wants to keep troops off the ground to help spare American lives, but believes it's not realistic.

"When it comes down to it, American blood is going to have to shed again in that region to settle that region," said Bryson.

If he were physically able, he'd be fighting right along with them.

"In a heartbeat, in a heartbeat,” said Bryson.

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