Joe Wheeler

Admin Category: 

Joe Wheeler landed in Kuwait at the beginning of the war when the Iraqis were firing Scud missiles. The American soldiers thought the missiles might contain poison gas, so they were terrified every time air raid sirens went off. Once, a female soldier who was taking a shower when the sirens sounded was raped by a male soldier. Wheeler says the fear of chemicals brought out the worst in people. He also relates two incidents later in the war when he was in convoys and decided not to shoot because he couldn’t tell whether his target was hostile or innocent. In one case, he ignored an order to fire on a vehicle that was tailgating. Wheeler says he took a risk by not firing, but “coming home from Iraq, I was able to look back and know that I hadn’t pulled the trigger. I never had to wonder… whether or not I had killed anybody.”

Recorded Date: 
Mar 13th 2008