U.S. troops come home for the holidays

Stephanie Shaw, Opinions Page Editor

The command flag came down during a Dec. 15 ceremony in Bagdad that marked the end of the United States mission in Iraq.  U.S. troops no longer will be sent to Iraq and those remaining in country began to pack up.  Friends and families were excited to have their loves ones home.

“It’s sad that most people don’t realize it’s [the war] over,” history teacher Bob Sarver said. “And if people do realize, they won’t understand the sacrifices the soldiers made.”

By Dec. 15 there were only 1,000 troops still in Iraq to view the ceremony.

Students who have friends and family coming back from the war were relieved and thankful.

“My uncle is in Iraq, and my mom is relieved because it’s her brother,” junior Andrew Eaton said.  “He will be able to spend the summer with us. It’s nice that he’s coming home safe.”

Eaton’s uncle has been serving in the Army for 24 years.

Junior Diane Olski has a different view on America pulling out of the war.

“I honestly would have preferred that we should have kept fighting because it feels like were just giving up,” she said. “But it will be nice to have all of the soldiers who fought for our country returning home.”

During the nearly nine-year war, 4,487 American troops lost their lives and 32,226 were wounded in action.  Overall, more than 1.5 million U.S. soldiers served in Iraq and more than $800 billion was spent.