News Release

Veterans in New Hampshire

WILLIAM HOPKINS
An Iraq war veteran, Hopkins said today: “I joined the New Hampshire National Guard in May of 2001 at a time the World Trade towers still stood; it was not at all unusual to talk to fellow guardsmen who had been in for 25 years or more and not been deployed aside from short in-state relief deployments for ice storms or flooding. … A few months after I completed basic training, I watched in horror as the World Trade Center fell; along with our country, the course of my life changed drastically.

“I was deployed to Iraq with my company, Cco 3-172nd INF (Mountain), in March of ’04. The deployment lasted eleven months, over thirteen if you count train-up and out-processing. If you have seen “The War Tapes,” that was us. Our missions included convoy escort, route security, limited urban operations, and cordon for the Fallujah offensive. I was decorated for valor, for a firefight which took place north of Baghdad during Ramadan of ’04, and finished my term with the National Guard in May of ’07.

“My combat experience is something I think about every day. … As for the men of Cco, we all miraculously survived our deployment. Most months our ammunition expenditures were greater than the entire remainder of our battalion; we were the only company in our brigade free of casualties. However the physical and mental injuries sustained in Iraq still haunt most of us, we had a large number of combat injuries, and PTSD is a big issue for many of us. While I have lost track of most of my company, there are guys who have been in and out of prison with substance abuse and violence issues, there are a handful who have been unable to hold a job and are now on full disability for PTSD. Chemical and depleted uranium exposure is also an issue, and one of us is currently fighting for his life with a brain tumor.

“I was against the Iraq offensive when it began; the evidence provided suggesting that Iraq was producing weapons of mass destruction was flimsy at best, I chose to serve rather than go to jail, and I was forced to do things that will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

PAUL SCHAEFER
A Vietnam War veteran, Schaefer just arrived in New Hampshire on the “Yellow Rose of Texas Peace Bus,” which will be at major events until the New Hampshire primary. He said today: “It seems like most of the candidates are trying to play it both ways on the Iraq war. Will they remove all the troops? Will they dismantle the military bases? We need a timetable for withdrawal and to use our resources for reconstruction in Iraq and for so many things here.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167