Local Iraq veterans reflect on Iran attacks


local iraq veteran

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SAN DIEGO -- There was enhanced security at MCAS Miramar Tuesday night after Iran launched missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

Though the attacks happened thousands of miles away, they hit close to home for San Diego Iraq War veterans and their families. 

Andy Kopp, a Navy veteran who served as a civilian defense intelligence analyst in Iraq back in 2009, said he was worried whether his friends were harmed in the Iranian strikes, which came in retaliation for the killing of one of the nation's top generals.

“Imagine the extreme tension that any family, here or across the world, that has a family member serving there is going through right now,” Kopp said. “Personally, I have friends who may or may not still be there so it’s certainly scary in that sense.”

It’s a feeling that is familiar to Navy veteran Chad Talbot, who served as a diplomatic protection agent for the State Department in Iraq.

“I did two 13-month tours back to back and it was still very volatile," Talbot, who was wounded during his service, told FOX 5.

While he expected retaliation from Iran, Talbot doesn’t believe the missile strikes were intended to start a war.

“I think it was more of a political thing, to be honest with you,” Talbot said. “We know there were no casualties, which is good. I think it was more to appease the people of Iran, because they had better targets that they could’ve hit and they didn’t do it.”

Kopp urged all service members, veterans and military families to remain calm while they wait on word of whether more troops will deploy.

“I would encourage active service members and veterans not to add to the fog of war, not to add to the hysteria,” Kopp said. “Try their best to have a sober perspective on this, to remain calm.”

Local Navy and Air Force service members have already received alerts that they may deploy.

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