Over the weekend, I watched a video of the final convoy exiting Iraq as it crossed over the border to Kuwait.
I read articles in the Washington Post and USA Today summing up the war, quoting service members who had firsthand knowledge of the war, and contemplating the implications of our removal from Iraq, both for our country and theirs. I read thoughts shared by military spouses about mixed emotions on blogs like SpouseBuzz and Wife [Widow] of a Wounded Marine. And I discussed the topic at length with my husband, whose professional as well as personal experiences in Iraq I'll never fully understand. But despite spending a large portion of my weekend thinking about the end of the war in Iraq, I still don't feel like I have a firm grasp on how I feel about it. And I don't think I'm the only one struggling with this sense of ambivalence.
Despite my own mixed emotions, I do know a few things for sure:
I know that it makes me so happy to think about all the troops who are coming home and are no longer in harm's way.
I know that I appreciate all the service men and women and the sacrifices they and their families have made in the name of this war.
I know that my heart breaks for the families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Iraq, families that are probably reflecting on what the end of this war means for them and missing their lost loved ones even more.
I know that our troops are coming home as different people, whether their scars are visible or hiding beneath the surface, and they need all the support we can give them.
I know that the term "the war is over" is misleading not only because we still have troops in Afghanistan, but because we also have families coping with the aftermath of both wars here on the homefront.
And I know that regardless of how I feel about the war in Iraq and its ending, I will always...