President Obama will visit Fort Bragg, N.C., next week to "speak about the extraordinary milestone of bringing the war in Iraq to an end. "
The president and his wife will salute the end of the war, and the combat forces who fought there as well as all militry families during the event on Wednesay, Dec. 14.
Fort Bragg is one of the U.S. Army installations that has deployed thousands, and is helping to close down operations in Iraq by the end of the month.
The ceremony to mark the end of the Iraq was comes about 8.5 years after President George W. Bush stood beneath a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln to declare "the end of major combat operations" in Iraq.
Fort Bragg's commander Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, who is also deputy commanding general (operations ) for U.S. Forces-Iraq, told reports he'd like to have his troops home before Christmas, but logistics of closing down bases will make that difficult.
"You just can't leave equipment in Iraq or Kuwait," Helmick told reporters. "We have to do what is responsible and that is to make sure all of the equipment is accounted for, all of the people are accounted for and all of the ammunition is accounted for. It's a very, very arduous process and we're trying to streamline that process to make it as efficient as possible."
"We've closed about 70 bases and we've moved roughly 100,000 soldiers and civilians since September of this year," he said.