Her nearly nine years of war in Iraq this evening we -- -- moment so many American families have been waiting for the -- their loved ones being in that final journey home. The -- brigade making that... See More
Her nearly nine years of war in Iraq this evening we -- -- moment so many American families have been waiting for the -- their loved ones being in that final journey home. The -- brigade making that five hour journey from Iraq into Kuwait along the same road US troops traveled in on when they invaded Iraq the night of march 20. 2003. Tonight the world's attention is absolutely fixed on Iraq that -- in all -- soon gave way to the long slow and bloody grinder for dozens of daily attacks. And to spiral -- -- As a brutal dictator was reduced from this to this even his image crumbling in battle but the troops leave a very different country behind. No doubt Iraq still faces major hurdles but there have been those milestones that first election. January 2005. Brave Iraqis waving their purple ink stained fingers in the air. -- badge of courage. In the end 4487. American troops died more than 32000. Were wounded. And the cost in -- topped 700 billion. Over the years ABC's. -- the Raddatz has been to a -- nearly two dozen times and on this historic day. Martha traveled those final 173. Miles out of Iraq with the last troops to leave Martha. They've been just a little bit over two months ago there were 40000. Troops in Iraq tonight there are not. -- dusty base in southern Iraq US troops made their final preparations to leave this long war behind. It is. Nearly 500 soldiers and more than 100 vehicles stretched out across the sand waiting to make history. It is about 445. Here in Iraq this sun is just setting since the last daylight. These soldiers will see in Iraq. The 100 mile trip to the border. Left a lot of time for staff Sargent Mary Haines to reflect on his nine years in Iraq and the many friends lost. Police -- today you know. There's an afternoon. In. It's basically -- you -- doing it owner -- You complete and everything. Even a legacy there's something to remember those guys and -- -- we can't -- Crossing the border. -- -- -- -- -- You guys felt like -- week. -- -- -- journey is not quite over for the soldiers as a spectacular. Sun rises over Kuwait the convoys continues. The vehicles will be -- did the flights arranged for the right back home. This had enough. I don't do my son that was some historic. -- -- build only. But no matter the joy and this -- done after nine years of war Iraq will always -- -- -- these soldiers. We're joined by Martha now who has traveled to Iraq 21 times and -- I know this was deeply personal for you watching so many of the troops that you have met along the way. -- home. It was -- but it was really an emotional day in so many ways what what always strikes me. -- the fact we had been at war for so long nineteen years how -- -- some of these soldiers were in the beginning I happen to. Be in the Amram today was a soldier who I covered and -- many many years ago and Mary was in the Amram. With me again today and we reflecting on people who were who were wounded and killed. This was a war in the middle that was very very difficult at a time when we all thought how will this ever. And today -- really did. We were all moved when -- -- Jessica Lynch this past week Iraqi war veteran what we should do -- some of these soldiers come home in and she said. Simply put your hand and -- think you. I think that's exactly right David no matter how anyone feels about the war. They really should reach out. To service members and thanked him for what they have done and I think one thing they really worry about is that people will forget about them in the future. So that's important to not just this one time keep -- out. To remember Martha Raddatz many thanks to you.
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