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In January 2009, President Barack Obama took office with 142,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Today, there are zero. Our combat mission in Iraq has ended and the Iraqi people now have full responsibility for the security of their nation. Obama has kept his word and brought the war in Iraq to a responsible end.

Iraq still faces challenges in the coming years, but as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated, “Iraq is equipped to deal with them.” Obama remains committed to Iraq’s long-term security and to the success of our service members when they return home.

While the war has ended, we should pay tribute to the service of our military men and women – especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice or were injured serving their nation. We should also honor the sacrifices and commitments made by their families here at home.

Now, as thousands of New Yorkers are returning home from Iraq, we must once again reaffirm our commitment and responsibility to support service members and their families by providing quality health-care, access to education, training to re-enter the civilian work force, job placement services and encouraging companies to hire our troops and put them back to work.

The promise to end the war in Iraq was not a political promise – it was and is a promise made by our Commander-in-Chief to protect our nation. Today we should be proud of our troops and our president, and stand united in moving forward as one nation.

 

Matthew Silverstein

Democratic State Committeeman, 26th AD

YDA Veterans & Military Affairs Caucus Chair

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