BELLMORE - Long Island veterans who served in Iraq say they are fearful all their hard work will be lost in the current insurgency in the country.

Islamic militants have already taken over key cities and are closing in on Baghdad. Veterans tell News 12 Long Island they are struggling to understand how the insurgency has taken over cities they once fought to protect.

"We did what we thought we had to do," says retired Army Col. Vincent Montera of Bellmore. Montera spent one year in Iraq. "Everything was on the right path, we came back, we felt good about it. Now we are back to square one."

President Barack Obama announced today the United States will not be sending troops back to Iraq to combat the militants. Instead, he says the United States will help out in another way, but Iraq's government must curb the insurgency.

The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011 after more than eight years of war.