Iraq Colors Arrive in US

President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey gathered on Tuesday at JB Andrews, Md., to welcome home US troops from Iraq. Among the troops was Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the last commander of US Forces-Iraq, who brought with him the unit colors of the now-completed Iraq campaign. “Today is a historic day as we commemorate the return of the colors under which our armed forces fought so ably and proudly in Iraq and mark the end of the second longest war in US history,” said Carter. He said “a grateful nation” thanks the troops for their accomplishments and sacrifices during the nearly nine years of the campaign. “Because of the courage and resilience of our military and our partners . . . 30 million Iraqis are free today,” said Dempsey. Austin thanked the troops for “a job extremely well done.” He said the nation owes “a debt of gratitude it can never repay” to the families of those personnel who lost their lives in Iraq. (AFPS report by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. and AFPS report by Karen Parrish)