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Iraq Crisis Weighs Heavily On Chicago Area Veteran

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Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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(CBS) – The crisis in Iraq weighs heavily on one retired Chicago area army sergeant

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, she’s thinking of her military and Iraqi families right now.

Ret. Sgt. Danielle Ciccoli says 275 troops heading to Iraq fills her with a variety of emotions.

“It is hard, but we swore an oath that we would protect and serve,” said Ciccoli.

Ciccoli was stationed in Iraq from 2006 to 2007. She drove heavy equipment transporters in the 1461st Combat HET Unit while in Tikrit. That part of Iraq has been taken over by ISIS insurgents. She often thinks of the safety of the two Iraqi translators that were her lifeline, while in Iraq.

“I understand that there’s a lot of issues going on. Complete genocide of people, just complete chaos,” said Ciccoli. “We need to have some sort of situational awareness, to find out what’s really going on, to see if we can be of help.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson recalls meeting with then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, when American troops were about to enter Iraq.

“He said we can’t stop them from coming. He said, it will be easier to get in here than to get out,” said Jackson.

Jackson says Hussein was able to bring Shiites and Sunnis together. Now, that unity no longer exists.

“Now we own the broken pieces of a war that we really instigated,” said Jackson.

Jackson says the current 275 troops being brought in to protect the American embassy in Iraq is one thing. He says more stability would most likely mean more troops in the form of coalition forces.

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