Hillsborough combat vet calls worsening situation in Iraq heartb - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough combat vet calls worsening situation in Iraq heartbreaking

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Tony Marrero Tony Marrero

When Tony Marrero left Iraq in 2009 as a Command Sergeant Major the country was stable and moving forward.

Not anymore.

"Seeing them turning in their weapons and running the other way is just totally opposite of what we trained them to do," Marrero said.

He retired in March after nearly 30 years in the Army and finds it difficult to watch the country he helped defend from extremists descend into chaos.

Marrero still wears the cap he wore in Iraq with an American flag on one side and an Iraq flag on the other.

"That was to show the Iraqis that we were united as one," said Marrero.

During an interview at Bay Pines National Cemetery before his medical appointment at the nearby VA hospital, Marrero told 8 On Your Side the soldiers buried there probably would share his feelings about the situation in Iraq.

"I would have to think they'd say the same thing," Marrero said."It's very disappointing that a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into our mission."

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