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Heading home…finally

 After almost nine years, the American presence in Iraq is over. Early today the last  American soldiers rolled out of Iraq and into Kuwait.

 Since March of 2003, 4,500 American lives were lost; $800 billion - invested in this war.  Like all wars, the question, “Was it worth it?” cannot be easily answered and is subject to opinion.

 “My heart goes out to the Iraqis,” said Warrant Officer John Jewell, acknowledging the challenges ahead. “The innocent always pay the bill.”

For today, 500 American soldiers have rolled into their immediate future, home for the holidays.  What do they look forward to? 

“In a guard tower overlooking a now empty checkpoint at the base, Sgt. Ashley Vorhees and another soldier talked about what they looked forward to most in getting home. The 29-year-old Vorhees planned to go for Mexican food at Rosa's, a restaurant in Killeen, Texas. Another joy of home, she said: you don't have to bring your weapon when you go to the bathroom.”

(S-R archives photo)

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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