BALTIMORE (WJZ)– President Barack Obama declares the war in Iraq over. After years of controversy, the end is finally near.
Monique Griego reports on the president’s plan to bring all of our troops home.
There are still 40,000 troops serving in Iraq. On Friday it was announced they’ll be coming home within the next two months.
“Today I can say our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays,” President Obama announced Friday, saying he’d honor a 2008 agreement to withdraw by the end of 2011.
“After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own,” President Obama said.
Since the war began, 87 troops from Maryland have been killed in Iraq. Nearly 24,000 have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We’re just hoping that the hard work we did will continue to flourish,” Col. Sean Casey said.
Casey, who spent a year in Iraq, knows what a troop withdrawal means for families like Sanjuana Palmer and her kids.
“It’s hard being a mom, a dad,” she said.
Palmer joined dozens of families at BWI-Marshall Airport on Friday night as hundreds of troops came home.
“We’ve just been waiting and waiting and waiting for this day,” she said.
Staff Sergeant Nathaniel Palmer had been gone for a year, his fourth deployment.
For the hundreds of troops that returned to BWI, the wait still isn’t over. They tell WJZ they have friends and loved ones overseas.
“My brother’s in Iraq on his way home as we speak, so I think it’s a good thing bringing everybody home,” Palmer said.
Palmer hopes other troops get to walk home soon as he did.
Obama says he plans to reduce the number of deployments so soldiers can get back to training.
The war in Iraq has been costly. Almost 4,500 Americans have been killed and the U.S. has spent more than $700 billion on the war.