BAGHDAD, Iraq — A Utah soldier who carried Saddam Hussein's boots out of the infamous spider hole where the former Iraqi president was captured says news of Osama Bin Laden's death has "re-motivated" American troops.
"Everyone I talk to is very excited about the news as it brings some degree of closure to perhaps the largest chapter in the war on terror," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Bulkley.
Bulkley was a staff sergeant deployed with the Utah Army National Guard's 141st Military Intelligence Battalion Dec. 13, 2003, and was involved in the intelligence work that led to Hussein's discovery and capture. Bulkley scoured Hussein's hiding place after the capture and cleared out some of Hussein's personal effects, which are now in a military museum in Salt Lake City.
Bulkley is again deployed to Iraq, and said in an email interview the news about bin Laden sends a strong signal. "Obviously the story continues with other extremists that will continue to use the cowardly tactics of terrorism, but it certainly sends them a message that no matter how long it takes, no matter how hard it seems, and no matter where they hide, we will find them and justice will reign supreme."
Iraqis have been very congratulatory on hearing the bin Laden news, Bulkley said. "I have been given high-fives — obviously behavior learned over the 10 years we have been here — energetic handshakes, and sincere words of excitement and elation. I think, for them, this news gives them real hope and optimism for the future, something which they desperately need during this time of transition."
Personally, Bulkley said he is proud to be part of an organization that helped bring justice to so many people. "It truly is a satisfying feeling to watch people with such evil in their hearts meet justice face to face. The real satisfaction to me is the knowledge that they felt that same terror in their hearts that they directed on so many others as they see and know the U.S. military is about to serve justice on them.
"It is satisfying to know our efforts had purpose and our sacrifices justified," he wrote. "These successes, like the capture of Saddam and now the death of Osama, makes the sacrifices worth the effort."