• “A Huge Weight Was Gone”

    When President Obama announced that the war in Iraq was ending, Joanne was overcome knowing her son would be coming home.

    “I saw the President’s announcement on the internet and I sat down and cried.”

    Joanne, a former servicemember herself, now does freelance tech support in Austin, Texas. Her eldest child, Eric, is a member of the U.S. Army and has served two tours of duty in Iraq.

    “He came back in time for Thanksgiving, and when I saw him it was like a huge weight was gone. It felt so good to know that he was safe and we would be closer together.

    “I never wanted to see my children—or anyone’s children—go to war. I spent so much time and energy hoping that nothing would happen to him while he was there.”

    While Eric was overseas, Joanne stayed in touch with her son any way she could.

    “The only reason I set up a Facebook account was to be able to stay connected with him while he was there. Occasionally he was able to call home, but because of the time difference it would always be at the strangest hours.”

    As a veteran herself, Joanne knows the strain that military service can place on families.

    “You have to trust in their training and tell yourself that they are going to come home. In the end, you just have to have hope.”

    The last American combat troops in Iraq will be home in time for the holidays. Take a moment to thank our servicemen and servicewomen for their sacrifices, and share what the end of the war means to you.

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