CHICAGO (CBS) — Greg Broseus earned 11 medals, risking his life for his country, fighting in Iraq.
This weekend, during the NATO summit in Chicago, there is one thing this decorated soldier wants to do: give all those medals back.
“They’re my medals. I earned them. I can do whatever I want with them,” Broseus tells CBS 2’s Pamela Jones.
He’ll hand them over as part of a NATO demonstration Sunday organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War.
“Just to let NATO know that, as the troops, the people that are sent to fight these wars … we don’t agree with them,” Broseus says.
In 2005, the former specialist from the Ohio National Guard was deployed to Baghdad as a gunner on top of a Humvee in a convoy. He was charged with looking for roadside bombs.
“They’re putting the bombs out there because we’re there. So, the best way for us to get rid of the bombs is to just not be there,” Broseus says.
He is currently studying photography. He depicts life after war in a collection of works displayed at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. His photographs show the despair, loneliness and fear many veterans suffer.
Broseus says an enemy bullet struck his Humvee. It brought him way too close to becoming a casualty of a war effort he didn’t condone.
But now he’s made peace with the gunman he’s never met — a lesson of war.
“If I could meet that person today, I would want to sit down and drink tea with them and talk to them about their experience,” Broseus says.
Broseus and other veterans making a similar protest hope they’ll be able to hand over their medals to a NATO representative. If not, they say they will throw them over the fence that surrounds the highly fortified summit site.