Former U.S. Army Captain Blake Hall reflects on his time in Iraq. A shorter version of this interview ran on the radio show on August 19, 2010. In the excerpt below Hall talks about whether the war in Iraq was worth it:
That’s the million dollar question right. I think as a commander and having seen the human sacrifice, you know I love my guys and I think that’s the ultimate question you know is what I saw my friends endure, the kind of horrific things that I saw, the people who were caught in between, you know, I don’t know. I think that’s why it still bothers me so much. I think that loss is often the most powerful emotion because it’s something that you always have to deal with. Time never completely closes that wound, because there’s nothing to go back to. I hope, I hope that the legacy we leave behind, that we’ve been a force for good, you know and I tell my guys all the time, what you guys did, hunting high value targets, taking down some of these car bomb networks, with what we had control over, we did good.
Strategically, that’s not my question. I’m obviously very invested in it but not of my own doing or that of my guys. I think a large reason why Americans support soldiers nowadays days is because they recognize we’re public servants. We swore to the constitution and we go where we’re ordered to go and then carry ourselves with the morality our country expects of us so that we acquit ourselves with honor. I can say we did that. Can I say it was worth it? You know, no, I certainly have, I certainly have strong feelings. We’ll see, and ultimately it’s up to time to tell whether or not the impact that we had in Iraq was in the national interest of the United States and was worth the sacrifice of the men and women and some of the Iraqis that were caught in the middle that helped us. But I can’t answer that question.