Welcome home brave American soldiers, your job is done in Iraq
By Joe Olvera, ©, 2011
The popular Christmas song, “I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me. Please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents on the tree…so, I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams,” will have double meaning for thousands of troops returning home from the war in Iraq. Only it won’t be a dream. Thanks to President Barack Obama, who promised when he ran for President that he would bring all the troops home from Iraq, families applauded their loved ones and welcomed them in a profusion of pride and relief to the United States where peace and tranquility prevail.
After nine years of a brutal war that saw more than 4,500 brave and courageous men and women dying to preserve freedom in Iraq – at a cost of almost $1 trillion – the survivors will return to parades, honors, and hoopla. But, not all is a bed of roses, as many survivors will have to undergo a tremulous return, many of them wounded in ways that can’t be seen. But, the war is over for all intents and purposes. While a few soldiers still remain in Iraq, the president has promised that all the troops will be home by Dec, 31, New Years Eve. A promise made – a promise kept.
To that end, the last contingent of 500 soldiers climbed aboard 110 trucks to make the trip on the highway to Camp Virginia in Kuwait, to finally return home. Thus, from the beginning of the war on March 3, 2003, when then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell promised a display of “shock and awe,” meaning that a bombardment unlike anything seen before would befall Baghdad, the capital of Iraq; the hope was that a display of U.S. power would send the Iraqis scurrying and might even kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It didn’t happen quite exactly as had been planned, so that hundreds of thousands, some estimate it at 1.5 million U.S. and allied troops, were involved in the deadly fray. Even after Saddam’s statue was toppled on April 9, the situation did not change as Iraqi soldiers continued the battle. But, now, finally, it is over. Now, finally, Saddam Hussein is dead.
To the troops now leaving Iraq, and to the families and loved ones waiting for them in U.S. bases across the United States, the end of the war has only brought joy, especially during this Christmas tide. Returning soldiers were met with tears, hugs and kisses from overjoyed wives and delirious children. This time, however, it will not be a dream, but, a reality that could not have come at a better time. From Fort Bragg, N.C. to Fort Bliss, TX, to Fort Hood, TX and other military bases, the killing and the dying is over. All across America, celebrations for the toppling of a dictator and revenge for 9/11 has been accomplished. Only the bittersweet taste of revenge remains.
So, welcome home, brave and courageous men and women. Your work has been done in one part of the world. Unfortunately, however, other trouble spots remain. One can only hope that the Christmas wish of peace on earth can be fulfilled and that all wars will cease to exist; that the need for armies, for bombs, missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction will be no more. Would that the present-day war in Afghanistan, end quickly and successfully. Let no more American troops die in battle. Alas, one can only hope and pray that it be so.