By: Andrew Limberg

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – As Al-Qaeda renegades move through Iraq toward Baghdad, capturing towns along the way, the Iraqi government is appealing to the U.S. for help.

There are reports that more than 90,000 Iraqi soldiers deserted their posts rather than fight. While the president and his cabinet decide whether to assist Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq War vets are disheartened by the news of the deteriorating situation.

Ben Keen, Army Veteran and founder of Steel City Vets joined The KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert to discuss how he feels about the current situation in Iraq.

“It’s a little offsetting to say the least,” Keen says.

He says the situation has him reflecting back on his time in Iraq as a member of the 101st Airborne, more specifically Mosul, which has been taken over by ISIS, a terrorist offspring of Al-Qaeda.

“When we first got there they had no water or electricity,” He says. “We went in there and really built it back up. We gave them running water, electricity and everything else and we lost a lot of (soldiers) there.”

Keen wants people to remember that “4,486 men and women gave their life in (Iraq),” and that “287 came from (Pennsylvania).”

He says its “disturbing” to see Iraqi soldiers who Americans trained “Literally thrown their weapons and run away in the face of a (smaller numbered) enemy.”

Keen realizes that “the Middle East has been a (place of war) for thousands of years.”

He says even with that realization it is still “heartbreaking because we gave so much and we were hoping so much for that country to be (able to support itself).”

Listen to the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020.

For more information on Steel City Vets visit

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