Today is an important day for America's brave men and women in uniform and their families. Due to the exemplary service of our military over the last six years and the success of the surge, American combat troops are pulling back from Baghdad and other cities. This move provides the Iraqi Government the opportunity to take over more security responsibilities and further implement policies that will allow democracy to flourish in Iraq.
I lost my son Justin in Iraq and know the sacrifice that our troops and their families have endured to see this day come. But the mission is not over. We cannot overstate the importance of basing all future decisions about troop deployments on conditions on the ground and the recommendations of our military commanders. We cannot diminish the tremendous progress that has been made by allowing increases in violence to go ignored and unanswered.
My son Justin believed our mission in Iraq has been critical in fighting the war on terror. Thousands of our courageous men and women have paid the ultimate price fighting for a free and democratic Iraq. They have made America safer and freed millions from the bonds of oppression. We must now honor the sacrifice of our troops and all military families by allowing our military to complete their mission in Iraq. Our country and military families around the world expect a commitment to nothing less than victory in Iraq, which will result in a stable, free nation that can defend itself and provide a better life for its people.
John M. Ellsworth
Proud Father of LCPL Justin M. Ellsworth, USMC, KIA 11/13/04
President of Military Families United