Iraq Veteran: This is a 'momentous' occasion - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Iraq Veteran: This is a 'momentous' occasion


MADISON (WKOW) -- Veterans and military families are reacting to the death of Osama bin Laden. Many say they're relieved and encouraged their hard work has paid off but say there's still a lot more to do.

Osama Bin Laden's death is bringing a lot of hope to area veterans. One Iraq veteran says he's hopeful this will be a turning point for the United States and he's hopeful this will bring closure to families affected by bin Laden and his beliefs.

John Bourdeaux says, "This is a momentous occasion and this is a milestone."

Bourdeaux has served in the military for 18 years. The Beloit native was in Kuwait at the time of 9/11 and just finished up a one year tour in Iraq last year. He says the news of Osama bin Laden's death is encouraging.

"He's changed our world and everything we've done service wise, in the last 10 years have been a result of him and his beliefs."

"It's a victory for the world," Kermit Hugo adds. "It's not just a victory for us."

Hugo says he was very happy to hear the news. Hugo's daughter, Rachel was killed in Iraq in 2007.

Hugo says, "Happy to hear it, about time we catch him, it's been 10 years."

Bourdeaux adds, "It's been 10 years, 10 long years we've been looking for him and I think sometime wavered wondered if we'd every find him."

Bourdeaux calls bin Laden's death a great team win.

Bourdeaux says, "Every solider, every military person can feel vindicated, can feel they contributed to this effort."

But, Bourdeaux says the fight is far from over. He says Osama was an enabler, the brains behind the organization, and he says we can't forget evil still exists.

Bourdeaux says, "As a soldier you don't forget that and you realized there is still a lot of work to be done and you need to stay vigilant and on guard to protect yourself and those who served with you."

Bourdeaux says there are concerns about what kind of retaliation there will be. There are approximately 450 active duty Wisconsin soldiers serving overseas right now.

He's hopeful this will turn the corner for the U.S. but, at the same time, he says he's already thinking about what kind of danger those soldiers could face in the next couple weeks and months to come.

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