Local Iraq War veteran weighs in on the crumbling situation in I - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Local Iraq War veteran weighs in on the crumbling situation in Iraq

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Local Iraq War veteran Paul Shook talked about his time in the Middle East. Local Iraq War veteran Paul Shook talked about his time in the Middle East.
BROOK PARK, OH (WOIO) -

Now retired, Staff Sergeant Paul Shook spent 17 years in the Marines. From 1988 to 2005 his career saw four trips to the Middle East including Desert Storm and three tours in Iraq.  

"The whole thing has been frustrating to me because we went in and established a good secure area for them," Shook said of the new unrest in Iraq.

Part of his work was to train the Iraqi military, the same forces that are now faltering in the face of a new group of insurgents.

"I guess all the training that we gave them kind of went out the window. And that's what's frustrating to me," Shook said.

On his last deployment with the Second Battalion, 24th Marines, they lost 13 men including one of his best friends. A pretty extreme price for work that's now crumbling. 

"I will never say it was for nothing. He was there to defend me and protect me and we were there to defend and protect them," according to Shook.

Now, the question of what to do. While you may think it wouldn't effect this retired Marine, his 20-year-old son Zachary has followed in his footsteps. A Marine who just returned from Afghanistan. 

"He's got the desire he wants to be around the guys that he serves with, so he's ready to go. I'm hope that it doesn't, I'm thinking that we should be done," Shook says of his son.

It's a unique perspective from a man who had his boots on the ground in Iraq for many months.

"I don't think we should be trying to fix the world's problems all the time. We needed to be there when we were there. I'm glad we're pulling out. I wish they would take some accountability and fix some things themselves."

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