As the last combat brigade leaves Iraq I'd like to take a moment to say Thank You to all the men and women who served there. I'm proud of you and grateful for your service and sacrifices. The War may have been controversial to some but the defeatists have been silenced by your courage and valor. You have won and shown that American fidelity is still precious to us all. I salute you. I am humbled by your devotion, skill and compassion to a people in need. You represent the best of America and I am glad you're coming home. You have put the Iraqi people on the path to freedom and success. May our enemies, foreign and domestic, take note and despair.
We will never forget those who fell. As a member of a family who lost one of our beloved to The War I know the heartache that comes from laying your lives on the alter of freedom. That sacrifice was not in vain. Iraq has been won and it is your victory. Take your place in the pantheon of American heroes. Rest secure in the knowledge that we honor your life and will keep your memory in our hearts forever.
Though combat operations have been over for a while, and the last combat formations are gone or leaving, some soldiers will remain until the end of 2011. We'll be keeping you in our thoughts until you come home as well.
It is a good day to be an American.