Iraq fighting disturbs veterans and their families - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Iraq fighting disturbs veterans and their families

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This memorial pays tribute to those who fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This memorial pays tribute to those who fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Natalie Coffin Natalie Coffin
Amy Patton Amy Patton
MARTINSVILLE, Ind. -

Terrorists poised to take over Iraq is a disturbing sight to veterans and families whose loved ones died trying to free Iraq and Afghanistan. That's the feeling we found in an Indiana community that has suffered more than most during America's war on terrorism.

Martinsville is a small place big on patriotism. Natalie Coffin grew up and works there.

"People are always going to be patriotic," she said "People are going to go when they are called."

Of all the Morgan County men and women called to fight America's war on terrorism, four sons perished. The names Steven Long, Steven Downing, Bill Loffer and Ryan Fritsche are engraved on community's veteran's memorial and in memories of people who knew them.

"I hope it wasn't all for nothing," Coffin said, shaking her head.

Her fears are shared by many of the people who live and work here. Deputy Prosecutor Bob Cline is among them.

"This country has given me a lot. I had to repay that," he said.

The Army veteran re-enlisted after 9/11 and went to Afghanistan.

"I have a lot of friends that are Iraq war veterans," Cline explained "I know men who died in Iraq. It concerns me. I don't want their deaths to be in vain."

The unending fighting among rival religious factions is no surprise to Amy Patton, an Air Force vet of Afghanistan. She said, "There's been fighting in that region since the beginning of history it would be naive to think it would stop."

As the warring gets worse, there is a concern of how America will respond and how a community that's already given so much might react.

"Families are tired, veterans are tired," Coffin conceded. "They are good people who need a break from war. I am one of those people."

Several vets said they couldn't or wouldn't think about what's happening in Iraq now. A parent who lost a son in combat has spoken before but not now, saying the news from Iraq made them sick to their stomach.

It is clear this isn't the outcome so many people fought and sacrificed for.

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