We all celebrate as the last of the US troops left Iraq this past week, ending nearly 10 years of war. For over 4000 though there will never be a celebratory homecoming. I shared this photo a few years ago and I think of Mrs. Walton frequently. Her husband Lt. Col. James Walton was killed in June 2008, 2 days before their 4th anniversary. Every year while the world celebrates, she has only a cold grave stone to hug.
As you celebrate this joyous season with your family and friends, please take a moment to remember those who will never celebrate another holiday and their families who are left with an emptiness that even time cannot heel. Hug your family and friends extra tight. While we celebrate the end of the war in Iraq and Christmas homecomings for their families, remember that there are still thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines standing guard around the world.