A retired young Marine corporal from Bensonhurst, who was famously photographed for helping to topple a Saddam Hussein statue nearly 10 years ago, is now wondering if the war was worth it all, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
Cpl. Edward Chin signed up with the Marines in 1999, looking for a way to afford a college education so he could pursue his dream of becoming an architect. When the Iraq War broke out in 2003, Chin found himself in the spotlight of history as he draped an American flag over the face of a Saddam Hussein statue and helped bring it down with a satisfying thud for freedom. For his efforts, Chin was awarded the American Legion’s highest honor and even got to throw out the first pitch at a Mets game.
“What did we go there for?” Chin asked. “As Marines, we just do our jobs. We go where we are told. We hope that our leaders make the right decisions.”
Chin also lamented Iraq’s perceived unstable political situation 10 years after the US invasion.
“What do these people want?” he wondered. “I feel they really don’t know what they want. They didn’t want Saddam in power. But they don’t seem to want democracy either.”
“We let it fall back into the hands of the radicals and insurgents,” he said.
Chin’s life since he left the army has been a series of highs and lows. He lost his job and got divorced but recently got engaged again and has a job with a new architectural firm on Staten Island.
The Daily News notes that Chin is designing a home for a fellow Iraq vet, Brendan Marrocco, a solider who lost all four limbs in an insurgent attack.
“He lost four limbs — for what?” Chin told the Daily News. “I’m one of the lucky ones to come back in one piece.”