Local Iraq war veteran says U.S. should send troops back to Iraq

Police and hospital officials say a car bomb in Baghdad's Shiite Sadr City district has killed 10 people and wounded 25.

They said the blast targeted a crowded outdoor market Tuesday in the sprawling district in eastern Baghdad. The number of dead in the violence in Baghdad on Tuesday alone stands at 20.

If you have strong feelings about what's happening in Iraq, imagine how an Iraq war veteran feels.

WPDE NewsChannel 15 wanted to know what a soldier who had boots on the ground over there thinks about the crisis in Iraq today.

We reached out to Jonathan Roberts of Myrtle Beach, who served with an Army field artillery unit in Iraq in 2009.

Today, he's a cook at the Veterans Café and Grille in Myrtle Beach.

He didn't see a lot of action during his tour of duty overseas.

"We didn't have a single bullet flying," Roberts said.

Still, he believed in the U.S. mission there.

"A lot of people think we shouldn't have went at all, but if there's nobody else to let the people know that they can't really act the way that they do, then who's going to fix it?"

Roberts said he is bothered today by what he sees in the news about the violence in Iraq and extremist groups gaining ground.

He thinks the U.S. military should go back in.

"I don't think it'll probably happen, but I think there should still be troops there," said Roberts. "At least a handful of units should be sent back."

But would more U.S. troops in Iraq make a big difference?

According to Roberts, that's an open question.

"I'm pretty sure all that it would do is maybe stop a little of the civil war and it'd be more of an international thing," he said.

Roberts doesn't believe his service over there and the sacrifice of others in Iraq was all in vain, though he says the mission could have been carried out better.

Roberts said even if the U.S. doesn't go back into Iraq now, it may happen eventually.

"Most of the people say, 'Well, now that we're out of the country, why would we send people back?' But I'd say years down the road, there's a good chance that we'll have to again," said Roberts.

Roberts said he thinks the Iraqi citizens he met could enjoy living in a democracy.

"But they can't get along with each other, no matter who the leadership is, so I don't think there's anything that's going to improve that."