Local veteran reflects on his experience in Iraq, following Iranian missile strikes

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The future of foreign relations with Iraq and Iran remains uncertain after more than a dozen missiles fired by Iran targeted two Iraqi bases housing U.S. military personnel on Tuesday.

Local Army veteran Theodore "Teddy" Smith knows what it's like to survive an enemy attack in Iraq as he shares his memories following recent missile strikes in the region. (WJHG/WECP)

To some the question arises - was this a step away from or toward a possible war?

"I mean anything can end up in a war situation," said Theodore "Teddy" Smith, veteran previously stationed in Iraq.

As a veteran, Smith knows what it's like to be under attack while stationed in Iraq.

"When something like that happens there's no communication in or out for 72 hours until they assess all the damages because if something did happen they don't want it to spread to family members or other people until they contact the Pentagon," he said.

Smith was in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 and then from 2005 to 2006.

Every year he and a group of his fellow veterans celebrate what they call "Alive Day" - the day his unit was hit by a rocket.

"Michael Meinin, Eric Castro, Tristian Wyatt, they lost their left leg. Travis Williams was in that vehicle with me and to still be alive, it's things like that. I mean I still talk to these soldiers, every day I still talk to them," said Smith.

Looking back on his time in combat, he said the key to survival lies in brotherhood.

"They don't know you from Adam but at the same time, they're willing to put their life on the line for you. The camaraderie is untouchable," said Smith.

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