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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:53 AM

Drone debate extends to Iowa


Vietnam-era veteran Gilbert Landolt, president of Des Moines' Veterans for Peace, talks about his involvement in a civilian casualty, and how it has affected him since. Landolt is protesting a drone operation center coming to Iowa.

Drone debate extends to Iowa
Sharyn Jackson
Feb. 17, 2013 11:03 PM,

Gilbert Landolt has an intimate relationship with the phrase “collateral damage.” He volunteered to join the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and, while stationed in South Korea, his squad hit a civilian with a tank round.

The then-19-year-old Iowan had to pick up the pieces of the body, put them in a tarp and haul them away.

“It’s quite a traumatic thing, you know, to take someone else’s life,” Landolt said. “But it was all due to the military. It’s just death either way you look at it.”

Decades later, still haunted by the incident, Landolt is a pacifist speaking out against an impending drone operation that the Air Force plans to establish in Des Moines by 2014.

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