Feeling Frustrated

By Pat Caldwell/Baker City Herald June 20, 2014 12:34 pm

Veterans Discuss Devolving Situation In Iraq

Pat Caldwell / Baker City Herald Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles assigned to Baker City’s Fox Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry prepare to escort a convoy at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in this December 2010 photo. The Baker City Guard unit spent a year in Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn.
Pat Caldwell / Baker City Herald Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles assigned to Baker City’s Fox Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry prepare to escort a convoy at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in this December 2010 photo. The Baker City Guard unit spent a year in Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn.


By Pat Caldwell

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La Grande resident Todd Gorham doesn’t follow the news out of Iraq. 

At least not any more.

When Brian Cole, also a La Grande resident, talks about Iraq, he exudes an indifferent outlook, regarding the situation through a lens of complex geo-politics.

Baker City Councilor and Vietnam War veteran Clair Button doesn’t spend much time reading or viewing TV news about the current situation in Iraq either.

The three men — though separated by age and distance — share a common link: All three participated in two of the more controversial American wars since the end of World War II. Button served as an infantryman in Vietnam, and Cole and Gorham served in Iraq. 

The American ground combat phase in Iraq concluded at the end of 2011 and since then Iraq faced varied levels of instability. Two weeks ago that instability metastasized as a rag-tag, al-Qaida breakaway band of guerillas known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began a massive onslaught across the northern part of the country.

See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald.