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Local veteran who met Petraeus shocked by scandal

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 11 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 12 2012 05:30:11 PM CST

On this day that American's observe Veterans Day, one Berks County veteran said the Gen. Petraeus scandal has tainted the moment.

READING, Pa. -

On this day that American's observe Veterans Day, one Berks County veteran said the Gen. David Petraeus scandal has tainted the moment.

"I put him at the level of people like Patton and Eisenhower, MacArther and Schwarzkopf, and all those great generals," said Dave Zerbe, SFC (Ret.) U.S. Army.

Zerbe, who met Petraeu while serving in Kuwait, said he was one of the best and was shocked when Petraeus admitted to having an extramarital affair.

"When the news came out on Friday, I was totally shocked," Zerbe said. "Totally shocked."

Zerbe is a professional photographer in Reading and made a promotional recruitment video for the U.S. Army.

In the video are images of Petraeus on the ground, in war zones in the Middle East. It's the work for which Zerbe hoped Petraeus would be remembered.

"I really thought one of these days he was actually going to run for president because he had that capability. He'd done such a fabulous job," said Zerbe, adding that he in no way condones what Petraeus has admitted, but at the same time, he said now is the time for more understanding. "I really commend Gen. Patraeus because he came out, and he didn't try to hide it. So, we as Americans shouldn't point the finger at him because he stepped out and said, 'I did it. 'I'm guilty.'"

Zerbe said he hopes Americans will not allow the incident to negatively overshadow America's observance of Veteran's Day.