Yesterday, the last U.S. combat brigade quietly crossed the barbed wire border out of Iraq into Kuwait. 50,000 trooops will stay another year in a noncombat role. For over seven long years our military personnel has sacrificed their lives for this moment. Back home we've enjoyed the luxury of freedom while troops served their second, third and fourth tours in the country. But yesterday, our troops quietly crossed over to Kuwait to rejoin the civilian world. There are no celebrations in the street like after the wars of our grandparents, but we must not forget the sacrifice that so few made, so often, for so many in Iraq.
Three years ago, the war in Iraq looked hopeless. Liberals and pundits were calling for a dishonorable withdrawal. The Iraq Study Group offered a glum assessment of the conflict in Iraq and recommended pulling thousands of troops out of harms way. Instead our country called on General Petraeus to implement an untested surge and counterinsurgency strategy to win in Iraq without sacrificing the honor of our fallen troops and the reputation of our military prowess abroad. Thank you General Petraeus, a true McArthur of our time, for leading our courageous troops to victory in Iraq.
As we depart Iraq there is still violence. This week there has been several brutal attacks across the country. I pray that the mission is indeed finished and that Iraqi Security Forces can provide security to their country and democracy will prevail. I hope we have not exited prematurely and I pray for the safety of the 50,000 troops still stationed in Iraq.
As a current Mississippi Army National Guardsman and a veteran of the conflict, albeit in a stateside support capacity, it comes with heavy emotion and joy to see the war finally wind down. But as the war is ending in Iraq, the war is escalating in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan we are still pitted against a brutal and sophisticated enemy bent on our defeat like was delivered to the Russians. The war rages in Afghanistan and once again General Petraeus is on the ground leading our military men and women. We all look forward to the day when all of our troops return home safely, but that day is not today.
Stand fast America, continue to support and adore our troops and their families. Let's not forget why we're in Afghanistan and let's all pray for an expeditious and victorious departure from Afghanistan.