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A soldier returns

By Staff
Hartselle native headed back to Iraq
Lauren Branas, Hartselle Enquirer
Back from the brink of democracy, Lt. Col. David Juric returned to Hartselle from Iraq for a brief stay before returning to the forces. While happy to see his three sons, Robert, David and Mathew, Juric enjoys his job in the Army, despite the danger.
When Juric received the call in mid-September of 2003, he was eager to go.
"I liked it. I've been training almost 13 years and wanted the chance to put what I've learned to work," Juric said.
Juric is the operations officer of the second battlefield coordination detachment and a go-between for the Army and Air Force.
"They speak different languages and I'm the translator. I make sure both sides get what they need," Juric said.
Juric defends his military against media opposition. He said people put the worst aspects of Iraq on the news and none of the good.
Juric believes Americans have a misled view of the Iraqi mindset.
"Most Iraqis want us there," Juric said. "Iraqis are not as bad as we think they are. They are good people; they're just scared."
Juric thinks part of the reason his troops are welcomed overall in Iraq is the fact they have built schools, hospitals and roads. The military also tries to be precise in their bombing to make sure they don't have civilian casualties, Juric explained.
Despite the controversy encircling this war, Juric remains upbeat about the military. He is even encouraging his oldest son, Robert, to consider the Army.
"The military is a great way to go to college. It's a good deal," Juric said.
Juric wants to make sure the people at home do their jobs to support the troops too.
"Everybody needs to keep these soldiers in their prayers. It's a lot of work and many don't get time off," Juric said.
He suggests sending care-packages of books, candy, Tylenol, antacids, toothpaste and other everyday items. He also said soldiers love receiving letters from kids. Most soldiers will even write back if they can. It doesn't matter whether they know who sent the letter or not.
"When someone who doesn't know you sends a letter, it's a good feeling," Juric said.
Juric also said it's essential to celebrate a soldiers return so they know what they do means something and is important to their family, friends and community.
"Keep backing them up whether you believe in the cause or not," was Juric's passionate point.

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