HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many North Alabama military veterans are honored on Veteran’s Day, but it is also a reminder of the continued struggles that our veterans face daily.
Although proud to fight for their country, many who fought in the war in Iraq are still feeling the effects from before they returned home.
Sergeant Johnny Brewster fought in the war in Iraq. He told News 19 that there is a distinct difference between a war veteran and a combat veteran. However, they all sacrificed and were ready to go to war when called upon often at a moment’s notice.
“We put our name on the line, and we put our love on the line, and we also put our heart on the line,” said Brewster. “It all means something, but a combat veteran that’s been to combat… they go through a lot.”
Sgt. Brewster enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1981. He earned his wings at Redstone Arsenal. In 2008 he put his life on the line when he was called to defend his country in Iraq.
“I was NCYC of munitions for J-4 over in the green zone.”
The ‘Green Zone’ is the common name for the international zone of Bagdad.
The city is a heavily occupied region with several military bases. There have been many casualties, but the physical and mental wounds from the war are higher than their predecessors for both male and female soldiers.
Many of the veterans are struggling and do not seek help or just have not received it.
“They’re motivated to do what they have to do to try to adapt back into society, but society working with them is the big issue,” said Brewster. “They are proud and not all of them really want to go to a veteran center because they have some mental issues. Some have lost limbs and their lives, and I say rest in peace to those that didn’t make it.”
Service veterans have been deployed, some of them multiple times. Sgt. Brewster says the country should always remain proud of his fellow Iraq War veterans.
“The United States really should be thankful for us soldiers that used our life and fight in combat because it’s an experience that never leaves you,” said Brewster.
Sgt. Brewster makes his home in Atlanta. His wife shared a post on Facebook in his honor that reads, ‘Happy Veteran’s Day! Thanks to all who served and sacrificed, especially you babe.”