Augusta reservist back from Iraq

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News 12 First at 5 and 6 o'clock, June 15, 2007

Augusta, GA---An army reservist with 33 years of service to his country is finally back home after one year in Iraq.

Kent Spruill sat down with News 12 Friday afternoon for this exclusive interview about how the war is going, and how talk of a troop withdrawal affects morale.

Spruill spent the last year in Mozul, Iraq, leading soldiers in delivering supplies to our troops in the northern part of the country, on constant convoys under incessant attacks. 1st Sgt. Spruill says "It's hard to say if we're getting anywhere or not. It's going to take years to determine that. Should we be there? I'll leave that to the politicians and the President to decide."

I asked him whether the congressional debate about a time line for withdrawal had any affect on troop morale. "I think they listen to it, but it's not the focus of their day. I think most want a gradual withdrawal," Spruill said.

Spruill was there when then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited---Rumsfeld's last to Iraq, and Spruill took part in a town hall Rumsfeld held while there. Spruill says the question of can we win in Iraq is not a simple one to answer. "I'm not sure there is a win/lose, or how you'd define winning. To settle it, the Iraqi government is going to have to step up to the plate and take control," he said.

To be home for this Father's Day is special for the Spruill family. Spruill's own father, Ervin Spruill, served 3 decades in the Army, and 21 months in Viet Nam. The senior Spruill says he's always been proud of his son, but is particularly happy now to have him home. Ervin Spruill said "It feels great to have him back...we were worried the whole 12 months he was gone."

The year away gave Kent Spruill a new and deeper appreciation for his family, his teenage sons in particular, saying "I left with little boys and came back with grown men. It was only a year but they grow a lot, and that's a year you miss."

There is a welcome home celebration for Kent Spruill Saturday, June 16th at Whole Life Ministries on Washington Road from 2 to 6 p.m.

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