• Father who lost son in Iraq weighs in on U.S. air strike

    By: Kristy Wolski


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A local veteran, whose son was killed in action in Iraq, is weighing in on Friday’s U.S. air strike in Iraq. 

    Navy veteran Dave Seamans lost his son Army Private First Class in 2005. 

    “Aug 18, 2005, he was killed in action in Iraq on the way back from a mine excursion mission,” said Seamans. 

    Seamans is watching closely the latest developments in Iraq, including Friday’s air strike against the militant group known as ISIS.  

    “You can’t help but flashing back,” he said. Seamans hopes U.S. service members will not be sent back on the ground in Iraq. 

    “I really believe that the President and our leaders in Washington are doing the right thing with the air strike,” he said. “I don’t see boots on the ground. I certainly hope not.”

    Action News sat down with David Schwam-Baird, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of North Florida. He explained the Iraq conflict is two-fold.

    “Militarily ISIS is moving towards Irbil, which is the capital for Iraqi Kurdistan,” he said. “Also where we have personnel, diplomatic and military advisers.” 

    Schwam-Baird said the second part is a humanitarian effort to help refugees pushed out by ISIS. “There are about 40,000 that are trapped in the mountains with no relief, absolutely no supplies,” Schwam-Baird said.

    Schwam-Baird said Iraq is in a strategic position as a major oil supplier.

    “It is on sort of the line between Saudi Arabia, which is an ally of ours, and Iran, with whom we of course have a lot of tension,” Schwam-Baird said. “Depending on whether or not Iraq can hold together, that can affect the stability of the whole region.”

    Seamans said he supports whatever U.S. leaders decide, but he hopes Iraq can handle the conflict without U.S. troops on the ground.

    “I hate to see what’s happening to anybody, I really do,” Seamans said. “But I think it’s their turn to step up to the plate and follow the procedures that we put into place for them to defend their country.” 

    After his son’s death, Seamans started the organization, Florida Fallen Heroes. The group creates fallen soldier monuments at high schools of Florida graduates who have lost their lives defending the U.S. in the war on terror.

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