On Wednesday, President Obama visited Fort Bragg, North Carolina to commemorate the end of the war in Iraq and thank troops for their service. Several state and local officials who served in the armed forces in Iraq spoke about what the President’s actions to end the war means to them and their fellow veterans.
Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown is in the US Army Reserves.
“Through careful planning, negotiating and timing, the President has fulfilled his commitment to the American people to responsibly end the War in Iraq. The efforts of President Obama and our military and diplomatic leaders have given the Iraqi people the tools they need to assume the responsibilities and the challenges that lie ahead. Although the war has ended, we must always remember the sacrifice made by so many, especially the 4,500 American service members we lost to this conflict. It is our collective responsibility to honor their memory by ensuring that all those brave men and women who served receive the care and benefits they have so rightly earned.”
Maine State Representative Alex Cornell du Houx is in the US Navy Reserves.
“I am incredibly thankful that President Obama has stayed true on his promise to get our troops out of Iraq. The President has shown that he is committed to securing Iraq’s freedom and independence, and the Iraqis have shown that they are willing and able now to lead this fight on their own. As a Marine serving in Fallujah, I had the opportunity to experience what happened in Iraq. I am thankful that we have done what we came to do, and am grateful to bring our troops home. The day I came home was one of the happiest, not only of my life, but of my friends’ and family as well. The men and women of our military have, with skill and bravery, brought Iraq back from the brink. Today, they can all be proud of what they’ve accomplished and overjoyed to be coming home. Thousands of brave men and women (4,500) have lost their lives in service to their country over the last 9 years in Iraq. This is an end worthy of their sacrifice.”
Newton, Massachusetts Mayor Setti Warren served in the US Navy.
“As an Iraq war veteran and as a Mayor I have seen firsthand the sacrifices that so many men and women and their families have made throughout the Iraq war. I commend President Obama for doing as he promised during his campaign and ending the war after nearly 9 very long years. As our final troops come home we must commit ourselves to ensuring that all veterans receive appropriate health care, benefits and job opportunities. Since taking office in 2009 President Obama has done tremendous work to provide every veteran with the resources they need and deserve. Our country is forever indebted to those that serve in uniform to protect our freedom, especially to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Denver City Council Member Chris Herndon served in the US Army.
“As an Iraq veteran, I applaud President Obama for bringing our troops home. The servicemen and women of our armed forces have served with dignity and honor and it is time for them to come home."
Michael Block is Assistant Director for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.