Quantcast

Deteriorating Iraq hits close to home for Pinellas marine - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Deteriorating Iraq hits close to home for Pinellas marine

Posted: Updated:
Michael Delancey in June 2014 Michael Delancey in June 2014
Michael Delancey in July 2006 Michael Delancey in July 2006
Michael Delancey in July 2006 Michael Delancey in July 2006
PINELLAS PARK, FL (WFLA) -

As the nation scrambles to figure out what to do about the crumbling situation in Iraq, Tampa Bay-area warriors who sacrificed so much there watch with broken hearts.

"It's like a big smack in the face," said marine Michael Delancey, who was paralyzed by sniper fire in Iraq. "Everything I've done, my brothers that have died, our whole goal in everything, is just a big smack in the face. We did everything we could do set that government up for success... and here we are."

An insurgent sniper shot USMC Lance Corporal Delancey in 2006, just two weeks before he was supposed to come home. The bullet damaged three vertebrae in his back and left him a paraplegic.

Delancey tries not to let the image of his wheelchair constantly take him back to that day in Haditha.

"If I did, it wouldn't be a good thing," he said. "I always look at it like this happened for a reason."

But recent events frustrate Delancey. Haditha, for instance, is reportedly one of the Iraqi cities now under the control of the terrorist group ISIS. It's members are advancing through the country with a goal of setting up an Islamic state that would stretch from Iraq into northern Syria.

"If they reach Baghdad, they're pretty much controlling the whole country," Delancey said. "To me, that would be an even bigger smack in the face. It'd be like - we should've never even went over in the first place. The children that we helped; the families that we helped that had no say-so; that were scared for their lives; the good that we did, the media just did not focus on ... is all for nothing."

William Earl Bodette, Jr., a retired 1st Sergeant, is a friend of Delancey's and has served all over the world, including combat in Mogadishu, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

"If you asked me to go back over there, I'd go right back in a second. It's just the way it is," Bodette said. "Do I think we need to go back over there? No. I don't. We've set them up for success enough that it's time for them to do their own thing."

Bodette believes, unlike wars in the past, what's happening now is different.

"We're not fighting a country," he said. "You're fighting an idea. You're fighting an insurgency. The deal with an insurgency is - they don't have to win. They just don't have to lose."

Delancey tries to focus on the future. He's in the process of raising funds for a wounded warrior camp in Pinellas County, where America's service members can have a place of refuge with things like horseback riding.

But Iraq is never far away.

"The more I read, the more it upsets me but I still like to know what's going on," Delancey said. "We've just got to be very careful in what decisions we make."

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Baby cakes: 'Smash' trend taking 1-year-old parties by storm

    Baby cakes: 'Smash' trend taking 1-year-old parties by storm

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:23 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:23:30 GMT
    Legions of parents have embraced the smash cake, a birthday party feature in which brand-new 1-year-olds are served cakes to destroy — adorably — in front of friends and family.
    Legions of parents have embraced the smash cake, a birthday party feature in which brand-new 1-year-olds are served cakes to destroy — adorably — in front of friends and family.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • 4 - 5,000 attend Snooty's 66th birthday bash

    4 - 5,000 attend Snooty's 66th birthday bash

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:03:55 GMT
    Snooty’s 66th birthday “cake”  was made from cabbage, strawberries, pineapple, sweet potatoes and beets. South Florida Museum photoSnooty’s 66th birthday “cake” was made from cabbage, strawberries, pineapple, sweet potatoes and beets. South Florida Museum photo
    Imagine 4,000 people coming to your birthday party. That's about how many people showed up to celebrate the 66th birthday of Tampa Bay's beloved Snooty the manatee. 
    Imagine 4,000 people coming to your birthday party. That's about how many people showed up to celebrate the 66th birthday of Tampa Bay's beloved Snooty the manatee. 
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.