So the President spoke from the Oval Office tonight and told us the war is over. Just like that, troops are coming home because the President says the war is over. I work hard at being apolitical and this post isn’t intended to make a statement on the war. I find the whole history of the Iraqui wars (how many?) very curious and confusing. I guess I’m not the only one, since someone posted a page on Wikipedia titled “Iraq war (disambiguation)“.
Having lived most of my adult life as part of military community, I have personal memories entwined with many of the happenings in the Middle East . . . a family member who lost all her savings in a bank in Kuwait while she was home on break from her teaching job in Kuwait; January 16, 1991 lying on my bed watching bombs fly in Kuwait on TV, assuring a small boy that his daddy was in Alaska (secretly praying that he was still there); meeting streams of returning military with desert sand still clinging to their boots as they first landed on American soil at Bangor International Airport; five years later thankful that the boy’s graduation kept his dad behind his squadron long enough that he missed being in a car-bombed dormitory in Saudi Arabia.
In recent history, there was the First Gulf War (which was only the Gulf War until the 2nd iteration), the Second Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqui Freedom, and a few other named conflicts. Some of these are different names for the same thing, or overlapped until I didn’t know when one ended and another began.
But now it’s proclaimed — the war is over (or is it a conflict? I can’t ever remember.) Troops are coming home. I so hope he’s right. It’s long overdue. But somehow, I just know that there will be more entries on that Iraq War disambiguation page.