President Barack Obama

Tonight marks the end of the American combat mission in Iraq. As a candidate for this office, I pledged to end this war responsibly. And, as President, that is what I am doing. Since I became Commander-in-Chief, we’ve brought home nearly 100,000 U.S. troops. We’ve closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of our bases. As Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, our commitment to a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq continues. Under Operation New Dawn, a transitional force of U.S. troops will remain to advise and assist Iraqi forces, protect our civilians on the ground, and pursue targeted counter-terrorism efforts. By the end of next year, consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, these men and women, too, will come home. Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest — it is in our own. Our nation has paid a huge price to put Iraq’s future in the hands of its people. We have sent our men and women in uniform to make enormous sacrifices. We have spent vast resources abroad in the face of several years of recession at home. We have met our responsibility through the courage and resolve of our women and men in uniform. In seven years, they confronted a mission as challenging and as complex as any our military has ever been asked to face. Nearly 1.5 million Americans put their lives on the line. Many returned for multiple tours of duty, far from their loved ones who bore a heroic burden of their own. And most painfully, more than 4,400 Americans have given their lives, fighting for people they never knew, for values that have defined our people for more than two centuries. What their country asked of them was not small. And what they sacrificed was not easy. For that, each and every American owes them our heartfelt thanks. Our promise to them — to each woman or man who has donned our colors — is that our country will serve them as faithfully as they have served us. We have already made the largest increase in funding for veterans in decades. So long as I am President, I will do whatever it takes to fulfill that sacred trust. Tonight, we mark a milestone in our nation’s history. Even at a time of great uncertainty for so many Americans, this day and our brave troops remind us that our future is in our own hands and that our best days lie ahead. Thank you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


The Uncle Earl

"In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can." - Nikos Kazantzakis The art of success begins first within your heart, no better example to attain this claim than the man of many talents that we have come to know thru the years in the industry as Lacy Darryl Phillips. Lacy Darryl Phillips aka THE UNCLE EARL, an Award Winning American Recording Artist, Songwriter, Producer, Actor, Radio Personality & DJ. President of Earl Hitz Records, a NYC label created to embrace the sounds of house, dance, electronic pop, and funk music. As an avid culture curator of performance & music for the world, he wanted to pay homage by creating "The New Paradise Garage Experience". He is also the Creator/Producer of Ultimate Underground, Host/DJ of his weekly radio show, The Ultimate Underground Experience now celebrating it’s 9th successful anniversary. Lacy Darryl Phillips has a career in the entertainment industry which spans four decades, in the disciplines of acting, singing, dancing, directing, choreography, and songwriting. He has worked with recording artists, such as Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, Vanessa Williams, Grace Jones, Sheena Easton, Peabo Bryson, CeCe Peniston, James Ingram, Lou Rawls, The Bette Davis, Debbie Allen, Ray Chew, Randy Jackson, N.W.A. (Dr. Dre & Eazy-E), Jimmy Z., and Lonnie Gordon, among others. Past performances include: The Triad (NYC), House Of Yes (Brooklyn, NY), Coney Island Baby (NYC), Gold Sounds (Brooklyn, NY), Friars Club (NYC), The Delancey (NYC), Madison Street Theater (Chicago), Jazzmobile Summerfest (NYC), Marcus Garvey Park (NYC), JCC Manhattan (NYC), Broadway Sings For Pride (NYC), Gay Pride Festival (NYC), The Landmark (LA).