After having served in Al-Anbar Province, Iraq in 2006 during a heightened phase of the insurgency, it is hard for me to picture no U.S. troops there. But that is exactly what President Obama has accomplished, just as he promised while running for office. When he came into office, we had 150,000 troops on duty in Iraq, and by the end of this year, all of our nation’s troops will be back home from Iraq. Not only that, but President Obama is also drawing down the troops in Afghanistan – I can’t wait for the announcement that they are all coming home too.
Our service members and their families have made tremendous sacrifices over the last ten years. Almost 4,500 troops have paid the ultimate price, tens of thousands suffered traumatic injuries, and hundreds of thousands suffer from the invisible wounds of war. This administration has taken great strides to provide for our returning service members, and to help us successfully reintegrate back into society. As part of that, President Obama is now focused on nation building at home – this emphasis on job creation and building a strong middle class is exactly what this “next greatest generation” needs to thrive as we come back home from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars have been incredibly costly, and it is time to close the books on them and reinvest in America.
The President’s announcement ending the Iraq War comes at a point when the United States has demonstrated tremendous strength in carrying out our national security, and he certainly has proven his strength as our Commander-in-Chief. Our service members and veterans are truly a priority for President Obama, and I hope the rest of the American public supports us during our reintegration as much as he does.