Nine years later, the war in Iraq is officially over for the United States!
More than 14,000 of the troops serving in Iraq the last nine years have been from Kentucky. Many of them are from Eastern Kentucky.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel John Luttrell says he is glad U.S. Troops will be coming home before Christmas.
"I'm extremely pleased that not only myself or my son wouldn't have to go back, but any other of America's sons or daughters would have to go back," said Luttrell.
As for Iraqis, the U.S. Army and KY National Guard veteran says their war will continue.
"That fighting is still going to happen between the entities that remain in Iraq. But for our soldiers, I'm glad they are getting to come home, and we are putting closure on our part of it," said Luttrell.
Luttrell says his time spent in the military was a just and worthy cause. When asked if war was really worth it, his answer may surprise you.
"If America's sons and daughters have to commit the ultimate sacrifice, is that really worth it? To me, no. Not at any time. But I can say that we live in a world where war is prominent," said Luttrell.
The veteran says he is thankful troops will not be going back anytime soon.
His son returned from Iraq just last week.
"We were just called to do something, and we did it. And if we're called again, then we're called again. If not, then we just stay here. But I'm glad to see everybody coming home and get to see their families for the holidays," said Hunter Luttrell, KY National Guard soldier.
Now troops across the country are boarding planes just in time for Christmas.
Luttrell added that soldiers and veterans hope Iraq rises to the occasion and that they do not want Iraqis to fail because their democratic society in the Middle East benefits the U.S.
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