With Veterans Day Approaching, Former Service Members Reflect on Conflict

"Although we think it's free, those things we think are free really aren't free," says Vietnam veteran Robert Loomis.

Veterans in Longview were looking for jobs at a job fair Wednesday now their days in uniform are over. But their minds and hearts are still--and always will be--with those in the fight.

"The reason why we go over there and do the things we do overseas is to keep it from coming over here. And after September 11, it became a big issue," said Navy veteran Joe Cassell.

Though with mounting criticism of the war, some other veterans question why this war should be fought now. Did Iraq really threaten America?

Korean War veteran Nadie Ingram: "I don't see that we're accomplishing a whole lot, now that it's been going on for this length of time."

Vietnam War veteran Wayne Booty adds, "We shouldn't be pulling out because of what's happened there, but I don't think we should have gone in the first place because I don't think that that country did anything to us."

Though do pictures of fighting and news of more than 2,000 casualties mean the war is lost? Cassell doesn't think so.

"Look at the numbers since we started this thing, compared to any other conflict we've had in the past. They're very small. So most of those who go over there are going to come home," the 20-year Navy veteran says.

They all say there's no denying every death is with honor. And all Americans must stand with support.

"I'm glad I served. I'm glad I went. And overall, I think our country of ours is worth living and dying for," added Korea vet Nadie Ingram.

The East Texas Workforce Center in Longview has many services for veterans to find post-military careers.  They can be reached at (903) 758-1783.

Morgan Palmer, reporting.  morganpalmer@kltv.com