Why We Should Send Vets Back to Iraq and Afghanistan

TIME

When we heard the news of former Army Ranger Peter Kassig’s capture by ISIS terrorists, it felt like a punch in the gut. We never served alongside Peter, but as veterans who spent time in that part of the world, we know why he returned. Indeed, many of our buddies from the military have expressed a similar desire to go back. Peter is not an aberration. His determination to fight for the weak and to aid the suffering is a trait common to almost every veteran we know.

Which is why his situation is so gut-wrenching. The organization Peter founded, SERA (Special Emergency Response and Assistance) is much like our own, Team Rubicon. Since 2010, we have been recruiting, training and deploying thousands of military veterans to serve communities afflicted by disasters. Our members are ideally suited for these missions, bringing such skills as strong leadership, effective decision-making and the…

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