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TuckerJake.jpg (8842 bytes) (Reprint from, Boise Idaho February 10, 2004)

Local Marine defends President Bush

06:53 PM MST on Monday, February 9, 2004

Adam Atchison
Idaho's Newschannel 7

Boise -- President George Bush's candid interview on Sunday's “Meet The Press” show hit home for at least one local Marine, who served in the Iraq war.

Jake Tucker was shot in the shoulder in downtown Baghdad just a few short weeks into the war. After watching the "Meet The Press" interview, Tucker says he stands by his president and agrees with him that the war in Iraq was justified.

During the hour-long question and answer session, President Bush said he used the best intelligence possible when calling for an attack against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The president also spoke directly to the families of those who lost their lives and those who were injured in the Middle East.

NBC's Tim Russert asked, “Now, looking back, in your mind, was it worth the loss of 530 American lives and 3,000 injuries or woundings simply to remove Saddam Hussein even though there were no weapons of mass destruction?”

President Bush's responded by saying, "Every life is precious. Every person that is willing to sacrifice for this country deserves our praise. Yes.”

With that answer, President Bush was speaking directly to Tucker and other servicemen and women. Tucker sat down with Channel 7 News to watch part of the interview. Afterwards, Tucker said he felt the President was right and Saddam Hussein had to go.

“Even if we didn't find a single AK47 or an SKS or a single RPG or a bullet over there, we're still justified because we know what this man represents - he represents hate,” said Tucker.

While there are still questions as to whether President Bush's administration acted appropriately in invading Iraq, Tucker -- a two-time Purple Heart recipient -- said his injuries in the controversial war were a sacrifice, but he is proud of them. The bullets Tucker took were a service to his country and he would do it all over again.

“I'd love to go over there and do it again, but I'm not fit to fight so they won't let me. I'd love to do it again,” Tucker said.