Photo Gallery | Honoring Our Heroes: War in Iraq Officially Ends
The war in Iraq officially ended with a ceremony held under tight security.
About 4,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, their withdrawal expected to be complete by the end of the month.
Thursday's ceremony commemorated the "end of mission." The flag for the U.S. military in Iraq — white with the symbol of its headquarters in the center — was wrapped and placed in a camouflage sheath by Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top commander.
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"I recieved orders deploying me to Iraq in december of 2003. The Army Reserve unit I was going with was the 343rd Quartermaster Company out of Rockhill, SC. We left Ft Stewart in Febuary of 04 and came back in Feb 05 after making international news by refusing a fuel mission. I found that I enjoyed the excitement in the danger of being over there. After coming back, I worked for a home builder until the market began collapsing in 2006. Needing another job, I went back to Iraq as a civilian contractor. Now that there is no more work in Iraq, I am stuck looking for a stateside job in a struggling economy. I am glad the majority of American Troops are leaving Iraq. My brother is there now and will be one of the last to leave. I just wish it was easier to find a new job here at home after serving so much time in Iraq." - Michael Benett
"Well I served 2 tours in iraq and as a tank crewman in the Marines in the first units that crossed the border into iraq and one tour in the battle for fallujah in 2004. My life was forever changed because of the good friends I lost and the pain that I will carry with me for the ready of my life. But if I could do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing." -Pete Nicholsen
"I have a deeper respect for the families left at home to manage while worrying about their loved ones. Higher gas prices seem minuscule compared to the price some paid so that we continue to have our comforts.." -Rebecca Kennedy
"My son almost died there in IED accident it changed me FOREVER that day there are people I will never look at the same again,things I feel more passionate about then anything in my life besides my kids and grandkids. I never knew strength until I went to Brooke Army Medical Center to see my son...people I knew personally did die over there it brought it all full circle..the day my son hit his IED was the anniversary of my sisters best friends death in same provience from the same post here in the states..NO SLACK it effected everyone in one way or another..I'm glad they are coming home finally its long over due...THANK YOU to all that have served they do what they do so we don't have too...." -Becky Lewis-Hughes