December 12, 2011 marked the end of the “War on Iraq.” The ending of this eight year war comes just before the Christmas holiday, a season when many families get together.
President Barack Obama told the American people that he would end the war. And he did just that. December 12, 2011 marked the official end and withdrawal of American troops. The last U.S. troops are to leave Iraq by December 31, although Mr. Obama has pledged to support Iraq as it works to establish a democratic government in a dangerous region.
The president gave remarks about the war’s end at Fort Bragg, NC last month, where he welcomed home soldiers. “Part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who fought it,” he said. He further acknowledged that Iraq is not a perfect place and that many Americans have lost their lives in the battle. He said more than 30,000 Americans have been wounded nearly 4,500 Americans killed.
But what does the end of this war mean for returning veterans? According to a joint homeless study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs released in October. About 13,000 of the nation’s homeless in 2010 were ex-service members between ages 18 and 30, a disproportionately large number of the nation’s overall homeless veteran population, the study says.
The report goes on to note that the majority of homeless veterans are white males between ages 31 and 61 who suffer some disability, the report says. Half of all homeless veterans live in California, Florida, New York and Texas.