Geoffrey Millard served with the US military for nine years including a deployment to Tikrit in Iraq. After an honourable discharge he is now the chapter president for Iraq Veterans Against the War in Washington DC.

We had an idea for a protest that was based on street theatre and we dressed up as Blackwater employees and US soldiers guarding an oil executive.

The idea behind that was that congress is a safe haven for this oil executive so we put him in the doorway of congress and guarded him.

This congress has created a safe haven for the oil industry; this safe haven has created a safe haven for mercenaries and the people who really pay the price are US soldiers and Iraqis.

When I was in Iraq I was stationed in Tikrit with a brigadier general and there were times when I felt the entire unit was against the war but I felt I was the only one who would do something about it given the chance. But I did not know what to do and I really felt alone in that.

In one specific incident during my time in Iraq there was a traffic control point (TCP) shooting and a mother, a father and two kids were killed. There was a boy aged four, and a daughter aged three.

They were killed because they were driving too fast to a checkpoint and a kid took out a machine gun and thought "hey they are a threat" and put more than 200 rounds in less than a minute into their car.


I really felt very alone until I met other Iraq veterans who also had a problem with this dehumanisation, this racism that we see happen everyday in Iraq at the highest levels.

All the people I know in Iraq, or just coming home from Iraq, or who have just come home from Iraq realise the futility of the war.

They are riding up and down the same roads just waiting to be blown up, and that futility is leading to anger.

They just want to stay alive and come home, that's it, nothing precedes that idea – just stay alive and come home.

There are about a million Iraqis who have been killed and I could apologise a million times but that will not bring back a single one of them.

One of the reasons I left the military is because I did not want to take part of that anymore, I did not want to be that anymore.

The War in America

Read more US views on the war in Iraq

I took charge of my life and I left and that does not undo all the things I did while I was in Iraq, it does not undo all the people that were killed while I was in Iraq.

The war does not end for us when we come home. It keeps on going over and over in our hearts.

From Iraq to civilian life in 24 hours and then you bring veterans back to a situation of not being taken care of and to a public that is apathetic about what happens to veterans.

Self defence

That is the problem, the apathy. Congress is apathetic, the administration is apathetic and the American people are apathetic. They are not at the veterans' administrations, they are not seeing what we see as veterans.

I do not understand why people are against the impeachment of president [George] Bush. It is mentioned in the constitution seven times.

I took an oath when I was 17-years-old to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic – there is no expiration date on that oath.

So when I wake up every day and I get to put on an Iraq veterans against the war t-shirt and I get to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic that is exactly what I am doing.

And if President Bush has not violated enough misdemeanors to be impeached, no-one ever will.

High crimes and misdemeanors that is the standard for impeachment.

I thought about the Iraqis in Tikrit and Falluja and Baghdad, and nothing can take away their right to self defence.

Just because its my buddies over there does not take away Iraqis' right to defend their country. And that is what they are doing they are defending their country.

The special documentary the War In America shows on Al Jazeera on March 15. Click here for more information.

Source: Al Jazeera