Combat troops return home, time to salute armed services

By Brian David Brannon ‘11

Operation Enduring Iraqi Freedom came to a close Sept. 1 as the military replaced it with Operation New Dawn.

New Dawn offers a change in operational procedure, it emphasizes that the remaining 50,000 troop oversee should instruct the newly formed Iraqi forces and provide training for their Army.

The majority of combat troops in Iraq boarded military transports and flew towards the comfort and safety of U.S. borders.

The United States’ combat mission in Iraq started in March of 2003 as Coalition forces battled to overthrow the Baathist dictator, Saddam Hussein.

After Hussein was ousted, U.S. combat troops began to change their operations to anti-guerilla warfare and helping the liberated Iraqis set up a democracy free from tyranny.

Operation Iraqi Freedom, which was instituted after the liberation of Iraq, helped coalition forces to build, maintain and instruct a new Iraq national guard whose duty will be to protect their own country once coalition troops leave.

All Americans owe a lot to those returning home, still abroad and the fallen whom will always be remembered.

“It’s a great time to salute the service of the men and women in uniform, not just in Iraq but all around the world,” said President Barack Obama in a YouTube video saluting the returning veterans.

The removal of combat forces marks a change in the Iraq war, but the current geo-political atmosphere beckons the fact that we will still have forces in Iraq for some time.