What perhaps has gone unnoted publicly for the most part is the excellence of the American soldier. As a whole, they are true to their duty; performing well and with honor in critical circumstances. I must surmise that in most ways they are all these things because of their devotion to God and Country. They obey with exactness, honor life, and serve even those that may be their enemies.
In general they return home with honor, with clean consciences, hoping and believing they have performed their duties well, and freed millions, as their fathers in previous wars have done. Some, of course, indulge in imaginable vices, but there are no mass desertions, tides of crimes, or mutinies. The absence of negative and failure is as extraordinary as their triumphs.
In having their departing reveries, they lament at significant home events missed: birth of a child, graduation of a teenager, death of a parent. They have found it difficult, but rewarding, to serve the people of Iraq, noting the gratitude and graciousness of the local citizens--at least in the Kirkuk area. They don’t rave as conquering victors, but instead, humbly and with resolve enforce their directives. They want to be seen as having done a good thing, and I’m certain they have.
Their deployment to them has been a blessing and a curse. And they wear their pride almost secretly inside that they have endured so much to bring relief and liberty to a people that have known so much pain and tragedy for so long at the hands of a most cruel oppressor. Victory shouts are not politically prudent and there is still work to do. But more is the shame--for they have served well. As a whole they have done and are doing what they came to do. Welcome home and recognize these great and noble warriors!