DENVER (CBS4) – The Iraq War officially ended Thursday with a small ceremony in Baghdad.
Soldiers rolled up the flag U.S. forces flew during the military campaign. It’s now headed back to the U.S.
The nearly 9-year war has killed more than 4,500 Americans and injured more than 30,000 others.
President Obama says nearly all U.S. troops will be home by Christmas.
CBS4’s Dominic Garcia spoke with a Colorado family, the Mobleys, with two sons who served in Iraq. The men are identical twins. Garcia asked one of the men about the end of the war — and just like the beginning — it’s filled with a lot of mixed emotions.
“Kind of mixed feelings about it,” Matt Mobley said.
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Matt served two tours in Iraq. Of course he’s glad to be home, but it’s bittersweet.
“I’ve got friends, I can go out, have a couple beers, and do whatever; but on the other hand I have a lot of friends that can’t do that,” he said. “I lost a lot of good friends out there.”
“We’ve kind of missed their growing up years that a lot of people get to enjoy,” Matt’s father Mike Mobley said. “I don’t really know and I don’t understand, but both wars have fallen off the radar.”
“It feels like people aren’t recognizing the sacrifice,” Matt said.
It’s because of that sacrifice Matt worries what the U.S. is leaving behind.
“It was very frustrating to pack up and leave when we knew they weren’t ready for it,” Matt said.
Matt doesn’t think the Iraqi military is ready to stand on its own.
“It doesn’t feel like we’ve accomplished what we went there to do,” he said.
Still, he’s proud of his service.
“I don’t regret a single minute of it though,” Matt said. “I would do it in a heartbeat again.”
He’s quick to point out the accomplishments of the U.S. mission, the freedom gained, and his father is quick to point out the man Matt has become.
“They chose a pretty honorable path, yeah, we’re very proud of them,” he said.
Matt will officially be out of the Army in February. He’s in school right now, studying geology.
Matt’s brother served three tours in Iraq and is now on his fourth, but in Afghanistan.