December 15, 2011
“A long and painful chapter in American history draws to a close. Thanks to the dedication and skill of our men and women in uniform, the Iraqi people have been freed from tyranny and are beginning to enjoy the blessings of democracy.
“The end of America’s war in Iraq has a deeper, more personal meaning here in the Colorado Springs area. Among the nearly 4,500 members of our military services who did not return from Iraq were 257 based at Fort Carson. An additional 19 were assigned to other bases but once made their homes in the Pikes Peak region.
“We will never forget their sacrifice, nor that of the 32,000 Americans wounded in the conflict. And we will always honor the nearly one million Americans who wore our nation’s uniform in Iraq. We salute them for a job well done and reaffirm our commitment to support them and their families back home, just as they supported us abroad. I will continue to take a special interest in the first-of-its-kind Veterans Trauma Court, established here in the Fourth Judicial District in Colorado Springs, for injured veterans entangled with the legal system.
“Finally, I congratulate President Obama, who long opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq but understood, when he became commander-in-chief, that the right thing to do was to see that mission through to a successful conclusion.
“We have transformed Iraq, but it is of higher importance that our service men and women return with their heads held high.”