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NEAL STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S IRAQ ANNOUNCMENT

October 21, 2011
Press Release

October 21, 2011

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard E. Neal released the following statement today following President Obama's remarks today on the Iraq war:

"I applaud President Obama's announcement today that the war in Iraq will soon be over and many of our brave men and women in uniform will be spending the holidays with their families and loved ones. After nine years, it is time for our troops to come home, and it is also time for the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own security. President Obama made it clear today that we have kept our word in the region, honored a timetable to withdraw, and given Iraq a unique opportunity to determine its own future.

In the past six months we have strengthened our national security and made America stronger. Osama bin Laden, Anwar al Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi are no longer a threat to the people of the United States. The 43,000 U.S. soldiers that remain in Iraq will be home by the end of this year. And we have begun a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. As the wars abroad wind down responsibly, our time and resources must be used to put Americans and our veterans back to work.   

As the Iraq war draws to a close, we must pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops who have served their country in Iraq with honor and distinction. Many of them were wounded in action. The men and women of our armed forces consistently put themselves in harm's way for our freedom and we owe them a debt of gratitude. We must also honor the 4,800 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in uniform during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They are true American heroes whose bravery and courage will never be forgotten,"