As most of you know, the war in Iraq is over.  But what many of you might not know is that there are very mixed emotions throughout the military community about the conclusion of a nearly nine year war that cost way too many lives and way too many dollars, a war that is leaving people wondering whether or not it was all worth it.

Over the weekend, I watched a video of the final convoy exiting Iraq as it crossed over the border to Kuwait.

I read articles in the Washington Post and USA Today summing up the war, quoting service members who had firsthand knowledge of the war, and contemplating the implications of our removal from Iraq, both for our country and theirs.  I read thoughts shared by military spouses about mixed emotions on blogs like SpouseBuzz  and Wife [Widow] of a Wounded Marine.  And I discussed the topic at length with my husband, whose professional as well as personal experiences in Iraq I’ll never fully understand.  But despite spending a large portion of my weekend thinking about the end of the war in Iraq, I still don’t feel like I have a firm grasp on how I feel about it.  And I don’t think I’m the only one struggling with this sense of ambivalence. 

Despite my own mixed emotions, I do know a few things for sure: 

I know that it makes me so happy to think about all the troops who are coming home and are no longer in harm’s way. 
I know that I appreciate all the service men and women and the sacrifices they and their families have made in the name of this war.  
I know that my heart breaks for the families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Iraq, families that are probably reflecting on what the end of this war means for them and missing their lost loved ones even more.
I know that our troops are coming home as different people, whether their scars are visible or hiding beneath the surface, and they need all the support we can give them. 
I know that the term “the war is over” is misleading not only because we still have troops in Afghanistan, but because we also have families coping with the aftermath of both wars here on the homefront. 
And I know that regardless of how I feel about the war in Iraq and its ending, I will always…

7 Comments on The War in Iraq is Over…Now What?

  1. I am so thankful for all our troops and their families. I too have mixed emotions about their removal from Iraq. It's nice to hear from military families their thoughts and feelings about it since I don't have a direct family member serving. Wishing you and your family and wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! Blessings to you!

  2. yeah. I remember hearing this past year that deployments would be decreased to 9 months and I was happy to hear that. Now, troops are coming home and i'm just so thankful for all those families who've been without their loved ones. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I just can't get past wanting everyone to stop saying all the troops are coming home. They're not. Sure, they're out of Iraq (except for those staying at the embassy), but there are many who are not getting the luxury of coming home. They are finishing their deployment elsewhere.

  4. I think it is great that the rest of our troops will be coming home from Iraq. I admit that I cringe when I see people on Facebook make posts about how we never should have been there or that we shouldn't have been there that long because I think about those who lost loved ones and how comments like that impact them.

    I also agree with you that although that front is ending we are still engaged in other places that put our troops in harms way so we should continue to pray and support them.

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