Friday, October 21, 2011

The Urban Beat: Promise Kept - All US Troops Will Depart Iraq

All US Troops in Iraq Will Draw Down to Zero

After nine-years and more than 4000 lives lost, President Obama has just announced that all remaining US Troops will withdraw from Iraq before the end of the year. The US Troops will be home in time to spend the holidays with friends and love ones and the war will finally be over.

The withdrawal of American troops marks a major milestone in the war that started in 2003 and resulted in the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.
"Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home," Obama said.
"The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops," he said. "That is how America's military efforts in Iraq will end."
The U.S. military role in Iraq has been mostly reduced to advising the security forces in a country where levels of violence had declined sharply from a peak of sectarian strife in 2006-2007, but attacks remain a daily occurrence.
This is a relief for our nation and a promised kept by President Obama, who campaigned in 2008 with a vow to end the war in Iraq. I am happy that our troops are coming home but I have a few concerns and I hope these concerns over the next few weeks.

We are nation with an unemployment rate that stands at 9.1% and an affordability and access to health care crisis that still plagues us. Will these brave young men and women have access to adequate mental health services? Will there be the necessary educational and training resources available to them, to aid them in their readjustments? We must keep in mind that many of these brave soldiers have completed multiple tours of duty and will need the help and guidance of all. We've all seen a Vietnam veteran on the street homeless, sick or in need and I don't want the same fate to follow the Iraq veterans. We MUST do BETTER!

We can celebrate the homecomings and be grateful that the war has ended but remember, we must be advocates for these veterans and ensure that they are properly taken care of. It's our duty and a small payment for the sacrifices that they and their families have made for us.

What are your thoughts on today's announcement of the war coming to an end?
Does this strengthen your views of President Obama and his handling of the Iraq War?
What lesson do you hope the country has learned from the Iraq War?
What resources do you think should be in place to aid our troops when they come back home?

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