"It takes real courage to resist the war," says Cloy Richards, a former artillery cannoneer for the Marines. "I was afraid to not go; afraid to say no. I took the easy way out and went to the war. It takes way more bravery to say no."Somehow I don't think the Republicans are supportive of men who question their wisdom.
Corporal Richards did two tours of duty in Iraq, between March and October of 2003, and again between March and October of 2004. Like so many in the military, his initial support for the invasion began to disintegrate as the occupation lengthened and became more brutal.
"I was in the artillery unit. I saw a lot of civilian casualties," says Richards, who has seven nephews and one niece. "I love kids," he says. And his views of the Iraq war began to change as he saw Iraqi children die. He particularly remembers watching some kids play with unexploded ammunition. When it exploded, several of them were killed and several more were disfigured. "It was kind of like everything else over there. I just shoved it to the back of my mind somewhere and forgot about it." Except that Richards couldn't actually forget.