The Memorial Union Preston Family Room played host to the annual Veterans Roundtable on Thursday, Nov. 7. Lt. Col. Ken West talked about his experience as an artillery battalion commander out of Fort Riley during the occupation of Baghdad, Iraq from 2003-2004.
Dr. Loren Pennington, a professor of history at Emporia State University, introduced Col. West, and says new insight can be gained from this particular Roundtable.
Col. West talked about his trials and tribulations while in Baghdad, working the Al Mansur zone. West says he went to war without the latest weaponry or fully-armored Humvees, and didn't have to file the usual paperwork involved in "searching, detaining, and shooting." He told stories of performing searches for caches of munitions and weapons, some of those not ending successfully. He reiterated how creative him and his fellow soldiers had to be, quoting then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in saying "you go to war with the army you have."
West says he enjoyed speaking to an audience of about 90 people in the founding city of Veterans Day, during the All Veterans Tribute month.