East Texas FBI Agent Returns From Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/6/07-Tyler

East Texas FBI Agent Returns From Iraq

An East Texas law enforcement officer is back home after spending three months in the war zone of Iraq.  It's the Tyler FBI agent's second trip to the Middle East, and a much more dangerous and difficult trip then the one he took three years ago.

Going through more than 400 pictures he took while in Iraq, Tyler FBI Agent Jeff Millslagle had story after story about the hot weather.

"This was kind of a warm day," said Millslagle as he pointed to a picture of a thermometer that read 120 degrees. 

"The first time I was over there indirect fire accounted for about 30 rockets coming in to areas that I was living at," said Millslagle.  "This time in the same three month period about 165 rockets came in."  

Millslagle stayed and worked at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as an operations officer.  While he was there, Millslagle helped train Iraqis on how to prevent attacks.  He also investigated the indirect fires that came into the international zone, investigations that were much different from what he was used to.

"We were in the country for approximately 48 hours when a suicide bomber attacked the Iraqi Parliament Convention Center," said Millslagle.  "That crime scene was done by FBI agents that were stationed in the Baghdad Center, and that crime scene lasted about an hour and 20 minutes.  Had it been anywhere in the United States we would have been there for days."  

Millslagle said he went back to Iraq because he wanted to see if there was any improvement.  What he found, however, was a very dangerous place to be.

"I think the biggest change I saw, or biggest disappointment that I saw, was the Iraqi government is not able to operate on its own to provide for their own security.  It would be in my opinion that we have to be there awhile longer to allow the Iraqis to stand on their own and somehow get together with the major sects (the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunnis) to get along to establish a government where they can have a safe environment for their people to live." 

So, how long will that take? 

"It's going to take a very long time," said Millslagle.  "It's been many years that they have been warring against one another, and it will probably continue long after we are out of Iraq." 

As far as our troops, Millslagle said the morale could not be higher.  He says they are doing a good job, risking their lives every minute of every day to help make Iraq and our world a much safer place.  

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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