Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Speaker, last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared an end to the war in Iraq, fulfilling President Obama's pledge to bring the war to a responsible close. This marks an important milestone for the U.S., and it symbolizes our redefined relationship with a sovereign Iraq.
Thanks to the resilience and bravery of our soldiers and civilian personnel, all U.S. combat troops in Iraq will be home by the end of the year. I want to congratulate them on being able to share their holiday seasons together again.
We also honor the memory of lost heroes, and we renew our commitment to ensure that our new generation of veterans receives the services and care we promised and the veterans earned.
At a time when families are struggling to make ends meet, our commitments to help veterans is more important than ever to ensure they successfully transition their talents here at home for the good of our economy and our country.
On behalf of the Missouri citizens I represent, I wish our brave troops and all their loved ones a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year home on American soil.