Prentice Reid was in the Army Infantry for one tour in Iraq, between March of 2002 and 2003. He was honorably discharged in May of 2005.
Reid says he questioned the war from the beginning, but his doubts deepened when he arrived in Iraq. “The entire war was a sham from the beginning,” Reid says. “There were no WMDs. No connection to Osama bin Laden. I’m over there thinking we have an enemy, but this is contradicted every day by what I’m seeing as I drive around.”
Reid was a truck driver in Iraq, and one of his responsibilities was to transport Iraqi prisoners to US-run prisons. “I would see how they were treated; there was so much abuse.
“The longer we were there, the more things deteriorated. There was tighter security, more check points. Things were not rebuilt. I wish I had had the courage and the platform to speak out,” Reid says. “I have insomnia. I have nightmares. I feel guilt all the time about what I contributed.”
Reid says families and communities are destroyed due to the length of time troops are required to spend in Iraq, and their insufficient medical treatment when they return. He doesn’t want others to experience this type of trauma, and believes that leaders like Lieutenant Ehren Watada – the first officer to refuse service in Iraq – are taking an important and necessary step toward ending the war. He says that rather than feeling betrayed by Lieutenant Watada’s actions, he feels encouraged and supported.