NWA veterans reflect on time stationed at Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq


ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — The U.S. and Iran have stepped back from the brink of a possible war.

President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Wednesday (Jan. 8) for the first time since Iran attacked two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

More than a dozen missiles fired at two bases, one in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, and the other at Al-Asad in western Iraq.

There were no American or Iraqi casualties.

It was in retaliation for killing Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.

Jarred Ellis served in the army for 12 years, and was deployed to Al-Asad Airbase in 2007 and 2008.

“We called that home for a year. That was a place we took shelter, we ate, worked out and slept. It brings you right back to the very first day I was there in Al-Asad.” he said. “It’s a big huge base in the middle of the desert, basically.”

Sergeant Major Lance Nutt, a Marine Corps veteran of 30 years and founder of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, knows two Arkansas marines currently stationed there.

He says seeing these reports brings him back to his time at Al-Asad more than ten years ago. “There were several times when we received hits at the gate while we were there…we received mortar fire, automatic machine guns, a few different types of rockets that were hoping to kill some Americans.”

Sheepdog got its founding at the Al-Asad Airbase, Nutt said.

It’s where the non-profit organization made it’s first official service effort by delivering food, water and toys to kids in a town outside the base, and care packages to Americans serving as firemen on the base.

“Hoping everyone will remember the war on terrorism and the security of this country is an ongoing fight. There are men and women serving overseas in dangerous areas day and night to keep us safe and enjoy our freedoms we have today,” Nutt said.

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