Troops To Leave Iraq By Year’s End
October 22, 2011 by staff
“In the next two months, our troops, tens of thousands of them, their gear bags and board the trains for the trip home,” Obama said.
Nearly 40,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq, but at the end of the year, only 200 attached to the U.S. Embassy will remain.
“It’s a relief that we now know for a fact that will be by the end of the year,” said Tim Koster specialist with the 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Iraq through Skype.
Koster has been in Iraq for seven months.
A soldier returning from abroad said on Friday welcomed the news, his family said they were glad that other military families will soon have the meeting was made.
Army Sgt. Adam Symonds said he had not seen his family for two years. He spent 16 months in Iraq and spent time in Afghanistan. His tour is completed, but his thoughts are not far from their peers or mission abroad.
“When I was there, I enjoyed my stay there,” he said. “I have to see the construction of Iraq.”
Symonds served as a military intelligenceanlyst and was instrumental in rebuilding the cities of Iraq. He said that despite the president’s decision, there is more work to do.
“There is still work to do there,” he said. “No matter where we go, we always have to build it, so that shoots around the world, if that is what they have to do is your decision. So that’s what I do.”
For parents Symonds, an emotional roller coaster came to a happy ending Friday.
“It’s exciting to grab him and hug him,” said his mother, Dawn Symonds. “It feels good.”
They say they are happy that more families like them will be able to welcome their loved ones as well.
“This means not only that our son is alive and well, our family is everything,” said his father, Gary Symonds. “I am very grateful for the work he and other soldiers have done for us.”
Adam Symonds has retired from the military. He said he plans to become a teacher like her mother.
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, who serves on the Senate Armed Services and is married to a veteran of the Iraq War, told CNN that the government was ignoring the advice of military commanders.
“I am proud of my husband’s job was done there, and the other soldiers, and I think will be best in the world and the Middle East to have a secure, democratic Iraq.’s Why I think it’s very important not to withdraw these troops before long, “said Ayotte.
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