Before the sun rose on March 20, 2003, our men and women in uniform moved with earnest determination across the desert from Kuwait on their way to Baghdad. This week -- after seven-and-a-half years of combat -- the last of our combat units followed that same route, back across the desert and out of Iraq. They are finally on their way home.
I know, for the families of our brave men and women in harm’s way, the end to combat could not have come soon enough. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have kept their word; they have successfully completed their mission. Let’s welcome them home and congratulate them as the heroes that they are. Fifty thousand of their brothers and sisters will remain to begin a new mission -- Operation New Dawn.
America is on track to remove these last remaining 50,000 support troops by the end of next year. This will fulfill the obligations signed by President Bush and made with the Iraqi government.
There was no grand signing ceremony on Wednesday. An exchange of flags and command were all that signified the new and different chapter in the relationship with Iraq. A new day has indeed dawned, and let us all pray that the future brings peace and prosperity to the people of Iraq as they work to become sovereign, stable, and self-reliant. They have been through so much, they deserve better days ahead.
I have said many times, America has not been at war these last seven-and-half years. Our troops and their families have been at war. So that our lives could remain normal, and our sacrifices minimal, they have carried the burden for all. Their lives were turned upside down so that ours could remain comfortable. We owe each of them our thanks. It is our moral obligation to care for our warriors and their families as they return home. This is my most important obligation as a Member of Congress, and our most sacred covenant as Americans.
The White House has created a website where you can post your words of thanks and best wishes for our troops and their families. Please take a moment to leave a message for those who have given so much to our nation.
To find out more about how you can thank our troops click here.
Our use this link to leave a message directly.
Friday, September 03, 2010
Cleaver: Send a thank you to our troops
In his weekly EC from DC message, Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., notes the removal of combat troops from Iraq and recommends a big thank you to our troops: