GIs Petition Congress To End Iraq War

More Than 1,000 Military Personnel Sign Petition Urging Withdrawal

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For many in uniform, there's an unwritten code of honor that says no matter how tough your situation is or whatever your private doubts about the mission may be, you just never speak out publicly against it, and so for them what the service members of this campaign are doing is nothing short of a betrayal.

"That's not something I would do personally," a specialist remarks.

Logan spoke with soldiers from the 1st Cavalry who are currently serving in Baghdad. They acknowledged that the servicemen and women who signed the petition have the right to do so – but that doesn't mean they should.

"I think every American soldier throughout history has wanted combat to stop," a major remarked.

"As an American soldier I feel like we took an oath to obey the orders of our Commander in Chief and officers appointed over us," Army Spec. James Smauldon adds.

"The war has been very difficult, the violence has not decreased at all, if anything it has gotten worse. Is there a part of you that sort of says, 'Yeah I understand why someone feels like this?'" Logan asks.

"I know what I'm here fighting for, to give the Iraqi people some democracy and hope so I am 100 percent behind this mission. You don't sign up to pick which war you go to," Army Capt. Lawrence Nunn replies.

What would Ronn Cantu say to that?

"We haven't said that we're not going to war. But the time this airs I'll be back in Iraq," he replies.

"We don't get to choose the mission. Our leadership gets to choose the mission. Congress gets to choose the mission. My Congressman is Lacy Clay. I would like to tell him as a constituent of his, "Is this really – is this it?" Staff Sgt. Matt Nuckolls says.

"What do you mean, is this it?" Logan asks.

Says Nuckolls, "Is the mission in Iraq really what you want us to be doing? And then he responds, yes. Okay, well we go back to Iraq and keep doing what we're doing."

"We volunteer to make a difference, not just throw our lives away," Cantu adds.

Sgt. Ronn Cantu served in the army before 9/11 and re-enlisted after the terrorist attacks. He was in Iraq in 2004 and was headed back when 60 Minutes interviewed him. Although he says he will follow whatever orders he's given, he personally feels this war is no longer worth fighting.

He is a third generation military man in his family. "The third generation to have served, the first who made the decision to make the military a career," he explains.

Asked if he thinks the petition could be career suicide, Cantu says, "Only time will tell."

"You're going back. Are you worried about what the consequences are going to be for you back there, when people know how you feel?" Logan asks.

"All I can do is just convey to those soldiers that I do not want them to die in Iraq and that I will do everything I can do bring them home safe," Cantu says.

"Once you're in that combat zone and once those bullets start flying it's, all those politics are out the window. It's not about foreign policy or what anybody says. It's about the man to your left and to your right. And now you're just out there defending each other," Kevin Torres says. "Nothing will ever change that."

Despite the fact that polls show the majority of the American public has turned against the war in Iraq, support for the troops remains high, even for soldiers like Specialist Torres, whose 101st Airborne was recently welcomed home with a parade near their home base at Ft. Campbell.

What did that mean to him when he returned home and saw the warm welcome?

"When you're in Iraq you're worried that you're sort of forgotten. The only people that are really concerned with the war in Iraq are people who have family members or loved ones in Iraq. And when you come home and you see a town welcome you and, you know, set up a parade it's comforting," he says.

"What would you say to your children 30 years from now about the war you fought?" Logan asks.

"That I was just doing what my country asked me to do and I did it well," Torres replies.
Produced By Peter Klein