Iraq Veteran Addresses BU Forum

By Conor Mooney

October 25, 2012 Updated Oct 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Members of the Binghamton University Forum got a chance to learn about how to rebuild war-torn areas from someone who's done it first hand.

Former Iraq deputy country director for Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF), Bruce Parmelee, spoke with the forum Thursday at Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City.

Parmelee spent 10 years with CHF, directing restoration operations in Africa and the middle east.

He spoke about his experience restoring civil society in conflict and post-conflict environments.

Parmelee said, "Even if government collapses, there is always a measure of indigenous leadership in a community that understands the way things work and has a vision of what they need to give back to maintain a strong civil society. "

Parlemee returned home from Iraq in June following an eight month tour.