by John Rutherford, producer, Washington D.C.
What should the U.S. do in Iraq? Gen. David Petraeus is set to deliver a much-anticipated progress report on Iraq in a few weeks, but we went out to Walter Reed Army Medical Center today to get an assessment of the war from those closest to the situation, the soldiers themselves.
Three of six men receiving Purple Hearts agreed to talk to us, and all three of them were generally supportive of the war effort.
"We're doing good for the community and pushing the bad guys out," Pfc. William Goodman, 23, of Concord, N.C., said. Goodman was injured by a rocket-propelled grenade while on a dismounted patrol in Baghdad.
Sgt. Jeffrey Wray, 29, of Chesapeake, Va., who was injured while on an IED detonation mission in Baqubah, said the situation was improving when he left Iraq.
"The Iraqi people were a little safer than they were before," he said, "but I think we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of steps to go in Iraq to fix it."
Spc. Nathan Dehnke, 32, of St. Peters, Mo., said he was under a "busy mission load" before being injured by a roadside bomb in south Baghdad.
"It was obviously not the best of times or not the best things to be participating in," he said, "but by the same token I'm proud to have served with the people I was there with."
The soldiers had their own take on whether we should begin pulling troops out of Iraq.
"All the troops would say, yeah, they want to come home," Goodman said, "but we do need to finish what's going on over there."
Wray predicted American troops will be in Iraq for another five years.
"I think it's a good idea that the troops do start to come home but not all at once and not right now," he said. "I think it should be a slow process."
Dehnke said that's a political question he can't answer.
"I just do my job the best I can, help my fellow soldiers the best I can, and let the politics sort itself out for the most part," he said.
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