Obama to honor Iraq war vets and fallen
President Obama and Vice President Biden take part in a ceremony to mark the return of the US Forces - Iraq colors on December 20, 2011 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
February 6th, 2012
08:59 AM ET

Obama to honor Iraq war vets and fallen

By Barbara Starr

The White House plans to hold a formal dinner in the coming weeks honoring Iraq war veterans, the fallen and their families, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.  The dinner will be held on February 29th.

The dinner for some 200 people will include military personnel of all ranks, but the focus will be on enlisted personnel who served in Iraq, according to a Department of Defense official. The dinner comes as the veteran’s advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has been pressing for a ticker tape parade to specifically honor veterans of the Iraq war. The senior official said top US military officers are opposing holding a parade for the Iraq war, “while there are still troops in harms way,” fighting in Afghanistan. “A New York city style ticker tape parade has come to represent a major national tribute,” the official said.

But some vets disagree. “After eight years of war there that saw over 4,400 American troops killed and over 32,000 wounded-in-action physically, the Iraq War finally ended on December 31, 2011. Yet, only St. Louis has held a “Welcome Home Our Heroes” parade to date–and solely because two guys launched a Facebook page and motivated a grassroots group of citizens,” said IAVA founder Paul Reickhoff.

The only formal ceremonies to honor the end of the war in Iraq were a small flag ceremony in Baghdad on December 15, and a another small ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base a few days later.

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  15. Maria

    , the withdrawal of poorts is Bush’s decisionReally? Don’t be preposterous. Obviously there is a ton of sentiment on the Right for staying in Iraq interminably (as Bachmann would tell you, we bought and paid for that privilege), so I can't imagine it would be very difficult for Obama to keep us there longer if he wanted to. I don't care if there was an agreement in place, if something had happened warranting a change of plans, it would have happened. This is a major national security decision. They're not going to say, let's do what Bush thought we should do three years ago . As much as it pains you, the world wasn't frozen in amber the day GWB left office. Things change and the current boss gets the credit or blame.As for credit given or taken, I'm sorry it continues to offend your delicate sensibilities that Obama hasn't commissioned a stature of George W Bush by now and signed over 100% of the credit for everything you approve of that he's done in the last three years. I know this was a bee in your bonnet when Bin Laden was killed, and I continue to be mildly amazed at the degree to which this annoys and surprises you. If you’re naive enough to think that politicians don't routinely take credit for things that happen on their watch, decisions for which they will primarily be judged, I don't know what to tell you. That's American politics. You sort of have to toot your own horn if you want someone to vote for you. This isn't the 1925 county fair dance where it’s considered gauche to do more than flutter your eyes in anticipation of capturing a suitor's interest. And if you think only politicians on the Left brag about their accomplishments, maybe the GOP debates are on past your bedtime. Honestly, when you start trotting out these silly “Alinksy crowd” campfire tales, regaling us with the Left’s perfidious deeds, it’s pretty clear you’re at a loss. Besides, while Obama has rightfully reminded voters that he promised to bring the poorts home from Iraq, he also carefully worded his statement about the promise being kept to the government of Iraq was one made by the United States, not Barack Obama: A few hours ago I spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. I reaffirmed that the United States keeps its commitments.Reply

    March 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
  16. Veterans of America

    That’s a good move by the White House. For information of veterans, go through the site http://www.base0200.org

    February 13, 2012 at 5:40 am | Reply
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    • Mariam

      Yeah, Stan, and if it had been a Democratic president going to a comabt area for a holiday visit you'd be calling it political grandstanding without a second thought. At least I'm giving the guy credit for going.Clinton met the embassy bombing victims' remains at Dover AFB, eulogized victims of terrorist attacks, and didn't start an admittedly (thank you, Mr. Perle) illegal war. He also promoted new rules concerning the DoD's handling of veterans' funerals, mandating that certain provisions be provided by the military to honor the dead.And regarding Cheney at the Wellstone event: what is the biggest difference between the Wellstone memorial and the average military funeral for soldiers killed in Iraq? If you answered 20,000 people were at the Wellstone event, and screening all of them would have been much more of a pain than you're implying, then you win!

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  18. Lord Haw Haw

    Oh, every time I see our brave, young, fightin' men, my flag goes right up my pole.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
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  21. Frottage

    No sense in passing up on a good photo-op.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  22. KaraOK

    The War Monger In Chief is gonna "honor" them by sending them to fight in Pakistan and Iran.

    February 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  23. mipolitic

    hey when obama was shaking their hands did he give them the pink slip at the same time or did he hind behind someone else again like he did after encouraging the people of syria to keep fighting because help was on the way only to fail and point at the un as the problem. yes pres obama the brave men of the usa military got bin laden , you just watched the show

    February 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  24. rightospeak

    He would honor them the best by bringing all troops home. They died in a useless , endless war that our pimp in Middle east got us into, that got us bankrupt. Ron Paul 2012 – no other option !He WILL bring our troops home. The people , who got us into that pnoney "War On Terror " on false advise -we know the names , should be tried for treason and war crimes.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  25. NOvember 2012

    This in lieu of a ticker tape parade as the veterans requested. This will make a nice photo opportunity for obama and the brass. I guess this will pasify some...for the horrible losees we have suffered in these wars and turned the Bush victory into defeat as we turned our backs on our Iraqi allies.

    Job well done to our troops... and business as usual for obama and company

    February 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • SaintM

      Stop your blithering. You must have not been born during the Vietnam war, when returning vets got nothing, no real counseling, and many ended up as alcholics, drug addicts and unable to return to normal life.

      I'm glad that Obama is doing something to honor them–it is long overdue. A ticket tape parade, although fun, is usually given to victors. A dinner at the WH in their honor should please them just as much. If not, then their priorities are not in good order. Bush never did anything for the veterans, nor any republicans during his 8 years in the White House, and he's the one who sent them there without a second thought to the sacrifices that would come.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Sarge78

      Bush victory? Pres. Bush Jr. took his eyes off the real target, bin Laden in Afghanistan and we are paying a huge price for that. Our Iraqi Allies, as you put it, wanted us out. Iraq was all about the Bush family name and nothing to do with terrorism. I lived it as I supported operations and resources were diverted to Iraq.

      Pres. Obama has been a great and I'd say unexpected support of the military and the veterans. He has expanded VA eligiability and pushed for funding as both wars caused a surge in VA use. Mrs. Obama has been a very open supporter of military families.

      I'd like to see something just for Iraq and then another event for Afghanistan. So many people went to both places multiple times.

      NOvember 2012, what have you done to support your troops?

      February 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
      • RagMcmuffin

        You go sarge78, you go

        February 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
      • Niama

        on that issue. To change any newly dfneeid presence after that drop dead date of Jan 1, 2012, he had to create a new contract. Despite the forked tongue, politically wishy washy reports that his staff wanted to supposedly against his will?? he did not accomplish that. But, like Aye says thanks for playing. Now go brush up on the simplest precepts of contract law, and try again. We'll be waiting.I would be curious to see graphed what you and your FA crew think the sitting US President does and doesn’t deserve credit for. Apparently, killing terrorists, even OBL, and the duties of the CIC actually reflect upon the previous President’s watch. Actually, I give Obama credit for adhering to the Bush/Iraq SOFA, and not evoking the one year termination provision. He has been promising, since being a newbie Senator, he wanted to bring everyone out ASAP certainly earlier than Jan 2012. Guess not . I also give credit for Awlaki. I'm mixed on the increased predator drones most especially in Pakistan. I certainly agree with that style of warfare, used with discretion. But then there is a balance on how much, and how often the missions, that you can push upon an ally. What this POTUS lacks is any concept of diplomatic balance. Worse yet, he appointed those who are just as inept.My problem with UBL is not that we killed him, but that it encroached into dangerous areas diplomatically by invading an ally's sovereign territory and a nuke armed one at that without their knowledge or tacit permission.I supported the Afghan Surge however was disappointed that he did it half ass, and ignored what his commanders on the ground said that he needed. So only half credit there.As far as the rest of his foreign policy, what credit can I give? He's been on the wrong side at every avenue, and emphasized his ill choices by unwise and unwelcome meddling. Honduras: he attempted to force a Constitutionally ousted President back into office with threatsEgypt, Yemen and Libya he meddled in civil wars, and simultaneously threw out the existing leaders that were providing the US with intel in the war with the global Islamic jihad movements. Even without the intel, the US has no business sticking their noses in to civil wars of another nation.He attempt to tell Israel what they had to forfeit which they've offered up before under Clinton with Arafat. He has overtly backed off Israel support at every opportunity on the international stage.All in all, under O'butthead's foreign policy, allies have learned that cooperation with the US means we will help get them overthrown. And our enemies, like Syria and Iran, have learned that when you remain an overt enemy, O'butthead is happy to leave you alone, and won't interfere while elections are unfair and protestors are slaughtered. We only reserve that force for our friends .Domestically? Can't think of a thing he's done that is worthy of praise. I will give him credit for further damaging the housing market's recovery by trying to re inflate the bubble. I will also give him credit for slowing the natural recovery by poorly placed spending. And I will also give him credit for businesses shuttering their anticipated growth due to increase regulations via O'healthcare, EPA and Dodd-Frank.That credit , unfortunately, ain't going to be pretty on his legacy. But hey, he looks good in a suit even tho empty in all other ways.Reply

        March 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • Ashley

        that we need a leader that .. The Republicans had ervseal years where they held the Presidency, the Senate and the House and they did not fix healthcare, fix the tax code, use PAYGO for homeland security and DOD, took a surplus and turned it into a 1.5 trillion deficit by refusing to pay for the two wars they wanted . doubled debt looked the other way when Fannie/Freddie enabled credit defaults When Obama got elected the big hit against him seems to be that he did not fulfill the stated Republican agenda that was not accomplished under Bush.The Republicans did not do a dang thing about health care even though in 1993 they supported the same individual mandate that they turned around 180 degrees on and opposed under Obama.oh wait.. I forgot – the further damaged the budget by passing taxpayer-subsidized prescription drug program while refusing to do what every other industrialized country does and own own VA does negotiate for bulk prices.No where is it more apparent just how far to the right the Republican party has swerved than watching the debates and the lineup of candidates.there is a snowball chance in hell that who the Republicans most want can win the independent vote.why? because they say they will not compromise their principles TRANSLATION: you do it our way or else .Finally the bomb throwing rhetoric did not start from the Dems.just look at the number of right-wing bomb throwing right wing websites these days . talk radio.. FAUX news, etc .for the most part the Dems have not resorted to bomb-throwing rhetoric except to return fire ..the Republican party has gone bizarroo it is now ruled by zealots like Grover Norquest and company.there is no Republican now days who could maintain a working relationship with the Dems without alienating his own party for trying to maintain such a relationship.The Republicans are, in fact, modern day bomb-throwing political vandals for the most part.Virtually ever moderate Republican in the party has been run out of dodge.

        March 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  26. mipolitic

    thumbs up, hats off, hearts bowed low , as the brave walk tall , thank you for your service and duty.
    what a price has been takened from the american people based on lies. but no matter what i will always support the troops of honor and they are the knights of freedom.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  27. ART

    Oh boy here we go another celebration, can't wait for faux news to start criticising the president for having this dinner. Remember what happened when the white house hosted a halloween party for the children of the troops.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  28. mm

    Good that the prez is acknowledging those that served in Iraq, but not doing so on such a scale as to have anyone think he is not aware that we still have those in harms way. Iraq veterans deserve to be acknowledged and ALL will be celebrated on a grand scale when they all come home.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  29. michaelfury


    February 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  30. george of the jungle

    This president gets it. My understanding a parade will happen whrn all are home. According to NY mayor Bloomburge. I guess Mitt could afford to give them on. In Utha maybe???

    February 6, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  31. ranger 830

    A parade is great ,dinner is better,but lets not forget the guys who are still forward deployed and running missions daily in a seriously hostile enviroment!!!!! RLTW.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  32. michaelfury


    February 6, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply

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