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Homecoming for the Final U.S. Forces Iraq Troops

President Obama and Vice President Biden are on hand as the United States Forces-Iraq colors returned home
20111220 United States Forces-Iraq colors

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III, Commanding General of U.S. Forces – Iraq, and deplaning troops during a ceremony marking the return of the U.S. Forces – Iraq Colors, and the end of the war in Iraq, at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Dec. 20, 2011. Greeters include from front left: Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, wife of Gen. Martin Dempsey; Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Five days ago, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was on hand in Baghdad to bring the mission in Iraq to its official end. The United States Forces-Iraq colors were lowered and flown out of the country in the official casing ceremony.

Today, President Obama and Vice President Biden were there as the colors returned home.

They were joined by General Martin E. Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and some of the families of the final returning service members from Iraq.

One of those the group welcomed home was General Lloyd Austin, III -- the final commander of the U.S. in Iraq.

General Austin spoke at the ceremony, thanking the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and civilians who served in the nearly nine year mission.

“I am truly humbled by your service and your many, many sacrifices,” he said.