As my husband's unit uncased their colors yesterday marking their return to Garrison the colors were "cased" in Iraq marking the military exit from Iraq after 9 years.
Nine years later... Part of me wants to scream "ITS ABOUT DAMN TIME!" that we were out of Iraq. But mainly I'm thankful. I'm thankful that this one small family has both of it's soldiers home: my husband and my sisters's husband, safe and sound. Our soldiers endured 5 deployments between them to Iraq. I'll have to get with my sister so we can add up the months. But collectively it's between 60-69ish months of deployments to that sand-ridden hell hole.
I can't help but to be sad also. Yes I'm thankful for this one small families' blessings but so many families were not so lucky. According to ABC News, 4,500 Americans lost their lives, and left more than 32,200 more wounded- in Iraq alone. My heart breaks for my friends who's lives were shattered, who's husbands were lost and husbands who came home without limbs or carrying the burden of mental scars. Yet again, I'm left feeling so humbled and lucky that after all the goodbyes and reunions our soldiers were unscathed.
But for those out there speculating whether it was "worth it" I say shame on you. They were there for each other and 4500 lost their lives. Count your blessings and be grateful it wasn't your son or daughter. Praise the men and women, don't send a message that their time and efforts were wasted. Or that my time spent worrying was for-nothing. Those who choose the military do so with the understanding that the politics involved really are not much of their concern.
I remember asking my brother-in-law on his second deployment (post WMD) why he was there? Why we had to worry if there was no purpose for this damned war and he said He's there because they [the Army] sent him. Simple. No further explanation required. I was floored and completely humbled by his position. It didn't matter what nonsensical crap came out of Washington.