A veteran reflects on the end of the Iraq War

The end of the Iraq War, & what it means to me

By Casey Elder, December 15 2011, originally posted at Face the Fin


I find myself a little dumb stuck thinking about the fact that the Iraq war, my war, is over.  Granted, I'm glad.  I think we should have been out of there years ago.  But on some level, I thought it would never end during my lifetime.  And now, it's done.  With no media blitz, just a quiet folding of the flag. 
It's been 9 years, 4,474 American lives, and countless Iraqi civilians.  Not to forget those wounded, both physically and emotionally.  We've paid a huge price... and for what?  I don't really want to debate the politics of it.  I have my opinion, as sure as you have yours, and that's not what this post is about. 
I was called to active duty in March 2003 (the very beginning of it all), arrived in Kuwait in May and then onto Iraq.  I spent a year of my life in that country.  And have thought of it every day since.  I have struggled to overcome the devastating affects on PTSD on my life and my family.  I have had surgery to try to fix the physical wounds.  Everyday I am reminded in some way of the time I spent in Baghdad.
As I sit at the keyboard, trying to make sense of what I am feeling today, I realize that most of all, I don't want to be forgotten.  I don't want my brothers and sisters to be lost.  We, as a nation that chose this path, must continue to care for those that have fought for us. 
I don't want my war to be forgotten.