Today, Congressman Rubén Hinojosa joined President Obama in saluting the end of the war in Iraq, with all U.S. troops being brought home from Iraq by December 31.
"Under the President Obama's leadership, we have reached a critical milestone for America with the Iraq War now ending," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "Over the past nine years, more than a million of our brave U.S. servicemen and women have fought in the war in Iraq. Tragically, during that time, nearly 4,500, including 418 Texans have made the ultimate sacrifice, and more than 23,000 -- including 2,825 Texans (see state-by-state table here) -- have been wounded. With a heavy heart, I have attended many of our fallen heroes' funerals in Deep South Texas who sacrificed their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should be proud to know that we come from a region in this great nation that is filled with brave and honorable men and women. Today, I join all Americans in honoring their service and in honoring the sacrifices our troops have made. I also honor their families, for they too carry a heavy burden."
"I voted against going to war with Iraq but once our troops were committed, I was committed to them. And I, along with many of my Democratic colleagues, pushed for responsible timelines to end the war and bring our troops home," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa.
In the next two weeks, the final U.S. forces will come home and no U.S. bases will remain. For the first time in nearly nine years, no U.S. troops will be preparing to deploy to Iraq.
"With their welcomed homecoming, we are dedicated to keeping our sacred trust to our veterans. We will continue to provide all who served with the care and benefits they have earned, while working to ensure they return to good jobs and decent wages as they come home. On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind," pledged U.S. Rep Hinojosa.
From 2007 through 2010, the Democratic-controlled Congress made historic progress for veterans, ranging from the New GI Bill to provide returning troops with the promise of a college education to strengthening health care for over 5 million veterans. And we are working to create jobs for our veterans, recently enacting President Obama's veterans hiring initiative, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, to expand job opportunities for our veterans through tax credits for businesses that hire service members and those with service-related disabilities, and provide veterans with the training they need to find a job in civilian life.
"With the end of the war in Iraq, we can focus on nation building at home," added U.S Rep. Hinojosa. "One trillion dollars were spent on that war and now it is time to invest in the American people -- creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and building an American future worthy of our veterans' sacrifice."