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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/8/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Influx of servicemen due to president's pledge to end mission in Iraq before New Year's

Here's some good news that's all too rare these days . Thousands and thousands of troops are on their way home to their families after serving in Iraq. The sudden influx of troops is on account of U.S. President Obama's pledge to end the mission in Iraq by New Year's Eve.

U.S. troops returning to Fort Hood have turned in their guns, preparing for civilian life.

U.S. troops returning to Fort Hood have turned in their guns, preparing for civilian life.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/8/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: U.S. servicemen, Iraq, war on terror, home for the holidays


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many servicemen and women are receiving a hero's welcome this holiday season.

"It's a sensational experience and the feeling is, I guess, of euphoria," U.S. Army Major Mike Williams says.

Hugs from his children affirm to Williams that he is at long last home, and this time he can plan to stay for an extended period of time.

Royann, Williams' wife had been left alone to care for the children on her own. She says she isn't sure if this was the right time for U.S forces to leave Iraq -- but she's grateful for her husband's return.

"It's wonderful," she said. "We haven't been able to stop smiling and get the house decorated for Christmas because we waited for him and it's been wonderful."

While reflecting on the hardships her family has had to make in the past eight years her husband was away on foreign soil says that none of it was in vain if it means her children living in a safer world.

"I would rather try to fight the terrorists on another soil than our own and if he had to go back as many times as he did, for our children hopefully not to have to go back over there," Royann Williams says. "As long as it was done right this time, it's definitely worth it."

Williams came under fire several times in Iraq. But he says the biggest reward is the knowledge that he did his part to make the U.S. safer by ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein and fighting terrorist groups like al Qaida.

"It was a great accomplishment in terms of, we've liberated a nation, we've taken care of the enemy on his soil, versus having him coming to the United States and attacking us again," Williams says. "And I think in the long run I think it has saved a lot of soldiers and a lot of civilians in our country from having to make the ultimate sacrifice and having another 9/11.

"[My] personal plan now is to reintegrate with my family, get reset, refit, go back to my unit after the holidays and start getting our unit going through that whole refit process that you do when you reset  all your equipment, get back into soldiering again," he said.

Williams is one of the tens of thousands leaving Iraq. After eight years and with more than 4,000 Americans killed, troops are finally coming home.

Troops returning to Fort Hood have turned in their guns, preparing for civilian life.

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