Marine historian returns safely from Iraq
By Willie Kiernan
Kurt Wheeler has returned home to Cazenovia, to his family, his students and his myriad duties in the community. After being gone for six months, about four overseas in Iraq, he is strengthened by the experience but happy to be home. He spent his first week quietly with his wife and four girls, getting reacquainted with some quality time at home.
"My focus has been to spend time with my family," Wheeler said. "Nothing special, reding to the kids, watching a movie with my wife."
As a historian, Wheeler conducted 425 interviews during his stay in Iraq, more than double what another historian might do. His intention was to be able to return to the school year in time to help with his AP and Regents students as they prepare for their finals. He wanted to express that he was fortunate to have S.U. grad Julia Harrod as a substitute replacement during his leave of absence.
"I'm gradually getting back to the village thing," Wheeler said. "I'm encouraged by the progress with regards to the comprehensive planning."
As Cazenovia Village Trustee, Wheeler's chair has been held vacant by the board and they've been operating short-handed. He will return to that seat for the next meeting, Monday May 7. Similarly, he returned to the Project Caf (c) Board on Sunday and girls' track coach on Monday.
Time in Iraq
With first hand knowledge, Wheeler has studied the complications involved with fighting terrorism and rebuilding Iraq into a functioning Democracy. He recognizes the mistakes made and the ongoing setbacks that undermine the quick and peaceful termination of U.S. involvement in Iraq.
"My personal conviction is that people who believe the war has been deliberately prolonged to enhance corporate profits, that is misguided and not accurate," he said. "It's important for people to know the individual citizens, the society, the government. And it's healthy to debate."