Iraq War veteran remembers time overseas

LADONIA, AL (WTVM) - Thousands of American soldiers have given their time, and their lives, to serve our country in Iraq. Now President Obama has announced he is bringing the troops home.

"There are two people you need to thank every morning when you get up: God and a soldier," said George Richards.

He served for a year and a half as an engineer for a reserve unit in Iraq. He got the order to deploy in 2003 and says to this day he feels the same way about that call, "Fear of not knowing. I get choked up, I get chills. I didn't know if I'd ever see my wife again."

Richards' mission was to build schools, orphanages and other buildings for the people in Iraq. He explained, "The country was in turmoil and torn apart. The young kids that didn't know anything about our way of life got to see how generous an American is."

He says he knows many Americans wonder if the thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent were worth it in the end but his response is, "If we did help even one family, yes it was worth it. I spent almost 22 years in the military and I enjoyed it. It was one of my biggest passions, being a soldier. If I could do it all over again, yes I would."

Richards welcomes all the returning solders home, and offers this piece of advice, "Savor the moment because you never know when it's going to happen again."

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