Hallsville Soldier Home From Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/21/07-Longview

Hallsville Soldier Home From Iraq

       An east Texas soldier is home for good , after enduring 12 months in the insurgent strongholds of Iraq. Home after 12 months duty in Iraq, 23 year old army sergeant John Charlton is home with a clearer view of what's going on in the war.

    "Some days you'd see 10 activities some days you'd see 25 you know something's going to go on every day you can count on it" he says.

      He joined out of high school and served with the army's 4th infantry-166th armored division. He was a staff driver for military envoy's, in the murderous area known as the Sunni triangle, fighting an enemy they rarely saw.

    "They don't wear uniforms you can never find out who they are. I drove 14-thousand miles in 12 months mainly on highway one protecting Baghdad, there's coalition against insurgents or the sunni's versus shi-ites, any piece of additional armor I could get for the vehicle I'd put it on" says John.

      In the year he was there, his unit encountered over 80 i-e-d's or improvised explosive devices,  and he lost more than dozen men in his unit, some close friends.

   "I had a buddy from henderson who was wounded real bad, hit close to home because east Texas boy we stuck together over there" he says.

    ABC anchor Bob Woodruff was injured in an i-e-d attack that targeted Charlton's unit. He believes the current troop surge may not be the way to go.

 "Thought we were trying to get them stabilized so they could hold their on country I don't see what piling more U-S troops in is going to do" he says.

     He's trying now to focus on life after the army.

"Just getting readjusted I haven't even been out of the army a week yet, so just get adjusted settle into home" says John.

  Charlton joined the army national guard the day he was discharged from the active army. Bob Hallmark/bhallmark@kltv.com

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