March 14th, 2009
04:10 PM ET
5 years ago

King: Veterans' stories show cost of military service

Chris Tucker, who served three tours in Iraq, suffers from hearing, back, foot problems and still has nightmares.
Chris Tucker, who served three tours in Iraq, suffers from hearing, back, foot problems and still has nightmares.

On CNN's "State of the Union," host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country. This week, King traveled to Georgia to learn about the toll military service is taking on two veterans.

SAVANNAH, Georgia (CNN) - As his tank rolled into Baghdad in April 2003, Chris Tucker mounted his camera to capture the moment.

"It's history; we made history," he told CNN back then. "It's my first war, hopefully my last war."

He could not have imagined then that six years later, Iraq would still be a combat zone.

"I thought we would get there quick and handle our business and we'd be out," Tucker told us this week. "At least, that's what we were told anyway."

Tucker received a medical discharge from the Army last year and he now is Officer Chris Tucker of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.

"You still get to serve your community and your country in other ways," he said.

At age 26, he is a veteran of three combat tours. The patrol skills he learned on the streets of Baghdad, Fallujah and Sadr City come in handy as he drives his police cruiser around the neighborhoods of his Savannah precinct.

Full Story


Filed under: State of the Union • Veterans
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. aware

    And Obama will reduce services to the military! :(

    The robotic one is totally out of touch, authenticity and wisdom!

    March 14, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. proud republican

    If they want to end the war in iraq. All they have to do is turn the soldiers and marines loose to do what they are trained to do. With a fullblown, no holds barred, war we could win in less than 30 days. This PC crap that we are doing now is what keeps getting americans killed and will never end the enemy's fight.

    March 14, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. El Toro

    War is hell. Some of us need no reminder.

    March 14, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. A tired American

    Whoever said that Obama would reduce care for our veterans? He plans to reduce the number of combat veterans, but that is a different matter.
    Retired USAF
    Vietnam Vet.

    March 14, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Had It

    You're not very aware, Aware. He has already started increasing benefits for all military.

    Quit watching fiction and try listening when Obama says he's increasing military pay and veterans care and benefits.

    March 14, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. A tired American

    For the record, military retirement is based on serving 30 years. Anyone retiring from the military has a 30-year commitment. Anyone retiring earlier than that (which is the majority) has to be approved for "early retirement". Early retirees are placed on IRR (ready reserve) until they have completed their 30-year commitment.

    March 14, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Bill

    4,000 – US Troop died.
    10,000 – US Troop injured.
    6 – Years of war.
    Economy in a Crisis

    AND

    McCain and his friends still want to prolong the war.

    What an idiocy.

    March 14, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. eee boston

    I have a lot of respect for our brothers and sisters in uniforms. I have seen the work they do on the daily basis here in the states and abroad. In this article it is clearly that this patrolman/soldier Chris is not fit to be driving a cruiser and aremed with a gun. Even from his own words he admits the horror of war that is still haunting him. He needs a lot of psychiatric attention and mental evaluation.
    Please take him of the street and get the help he well deserves.

    March 14, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. eee boston

    I have a lot of respect for our brothers and sisters in uniforms. I have seen the work they do on the daily basis here in the states and abroad. In this article it is clearly that this patrolman/soldier Chris is not fit to be driving a cruiser and armed with a gun. Even from his own words he admits the horror of war that is still haunting him. He needs a lot of psychiatric attention and mental evaluation.
    Please take him of the street and get him the help he well deserves.

    March 14, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. C W

    Aware: Where has Obama said he wants to reduce services to the military? He wants to increase pay and better fund the VA.

    You're confusing Obama with Bush, who lied to get us into a war; lied about how we'd be greeted as liberators; lied to us that Iraqi oil would pay for everything; didn't provide proper body or Humvee armor.

    You want to get mad at someone, get mad at Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all the other naive dweebs who created the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    March 14, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. yuri

    It is quite heartenin' to see an Iraq veteran mannin' civilin streets in our country with the ease of a grand gladiator glad to do that kind of guardin' ghettos. Long live veterans and their families.

    March 14, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. reagan fan forever

    There are no gaurantees in life, even less in war. I don't believe he was told they'd be out quickly. Maybe he was told that by his buddies, but not his superior officers.

    Would it be at all possible for Crap News Network to do a story about a soldier who doesn't whine and cry? I could give you some names.

    March 14, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. arivera

    Obama cares for all Americans whether they be republican or democrat. Where George Bush claimed all democrats are cowards and traitors.

    March 14, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Big J

    Show me one politician that is in touch!

    March 14, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    ....and DEATH too is acost of military service.

    Why are we in Iraq in the first place? Does anyone else besides Dubya and Cheney know?

    Do we know why we're in Iraq?

    Yeah. That's what I thought.

    March 14, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. Hannah Stevens

    to aware, you have the wrong name here. It was bush who cut services to the military. And Obama is going to do the best by bringing thm all home. We should never have gone to Iraq. bush/cheny criminals.

    March 14, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. aware of nothing

    Aware not only is Obama increasing the salary for the military but also providing more help for PTSD that can help officers such as this one cope with his nightmares. I am dreding the day when I see that letter from the Army saying I have to go back- and for the we are too deep to pull out nonsense- so what should we do then-stay there indefintely-yeah that makes sense. Its the time the Iraqis took care of their own country.

    March 14, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. arithmetic is liberal

    aware,

    You've been duped again! The goal is to increase funding to the troops, and decrease funding to overpriced weapons systems.

    March 14, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. Palin fan...NOT

    Iraq should have never happened. I feel so sorry for those young men.

    March 14, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. dollorbil

    Now he is a policeman he has a license to abuse the american people with skills he learned in Iraq.

    March 14, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  21. MK

    To tell you all the TRUTH, it scares me that this man is a law enforcement officer. He could snap and kill citizens of his own Country. Maybe he would be better gaurding the ranch in Crawford.....maybe the good people of Texas would feel safer if he was there.

    March 14, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |

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