East Texan Veterans Say Fear Is A Normal Part Of Combat - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

03/21/03 - Tyler

East Texan Veterans Say Fear Is A Normal Part Of Combat

   "I don't think anybody knows where it's going."

   Over coffee and good conversation. Five men with five war stories talk about this one. It's like nothing they've ever seen. Yet, they know what it's like.

   Ron Nowell, who served in Vietnam: "You learn what experience in war is real fast. You're going to see things, feel things, that you normally wouldn't see."

   Korea combat veteran Jim Wills: "They're going through sheer agony. In their case, it's not pleasant being out in the middle of the desert."

   All that sand plays havoc with aircraft. Leon Foster flew rescue helicopter missions in Vietnam: "To [pilots] it's like being inside of a chocolate milk bowl, you can't see."

   Leon says soldiers will be scared. It comes with the territory.

   "There's nothing like going through the real thing. And anybody who says they're not scared in combat is kidding themselves."

   Ron adds, "It's a difficult time, this is where you have your trust in God."

  But trust that this war is the right thing isn't unanimous. Korea vet Robert Reece says, "I don't like the idea of war, frankly. I don't like the people who force you into war, as has happened."

   But Jim replies, "Frankly, I'm not for rebuilding the country. We've done that all over the world. We can't afford it."

   World War II vet Johnny Glenn says about war, "Either do it now or do it later. The longer you wait, the more difficult it's going to be."

   Though today, and in the world we live, it's more than difficult enough.

   Johnny Glenn: "Bottom line, is thank the good Lord if they get home."

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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