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The deadly and costly war is over – well, at least American troops are all coming home. Yesterday morning, 110 trucks carrying the remainder of the 500 American soldiers slowly exited the combat zone – the main highway connecting Iraq and Kuwait. Many soldiers had traveled down that very road never knowing if danger was ahead. Sgt. Ashley Vorhees, only 29 years old, reports that she cannot wait to see her children and looks forward to being able to simply use the restroom without carrying her gun with her.

Many thought that when Osama bin Laden was killed that the war would end and everyone would return to the United States. But of course, there was much left to do and likely, there still is. We will continue to maintain a presence in Iraq via nonmilitary personnel, security contractors, and other contractors. It is estimated this war cost our country more than $800 million but even more staggering, more than 4,480 American lives. Also, another 30,000 were wounded. The Iraq Body Count estimates more than 150,000 Iraqis were killed with 4 of 5 being regular civilians.

I give thanks to the 1.5 million Americans who served – who gave up their daily lives to protect us. It is now up to Iraq to shape its own future.

"All of them — our troops, veterans, and their families — will always have the thanks of a grateful nation," Obama said in his weekly radio address Saturday.

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