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Old 12-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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As Iraq War ends, no parade for troops is imminent

No parade is needed. A welcome home from family and friends is good enough.

NSB

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans probably won't be seeing a huge ticker-tape parade anytime soon for troops returning from Iraq, and it's not clear if veterans of the nine-year campaign will ever enjoy the grand, flag-waving, red-white-and-blue homecoming that the nation's fighting men and women received after World War II and the Gulf War.

Officials in New York and Washington say they would be happy to help stage a big celebration, but Pentagon officials say they haven't been asked to plan one.

Most welcome-homes have been smaller-scale: hugs from families at military posts across the country, a somber commemoration by President Barack Obama at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

With tens of thousands of U.S. troops still fighting a bloody war in Afghanistan, anything that looks like a big victory celebration could be seen as unseemly and premature, some say.

"It's going to be a bit awkward to be celebrating too much, given how much there is going on and how much there will be going on in Afghanistan," said Don Mrozek, a military history professor at Kansas State University.

Two New York City councilmen, Republicans Vincent Ignizio and James Oddo, have called for a ticker-tape parade down the stretch of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. A similar celebration after the Gulf War was paid for with more than $5.2 million in private donations, a model the councilmen would like to follow.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last week that he was open to the idea but added, "It's a federal thing that we really don't want to do without talking to Washington, and we'll be doing that."

A spokesman for the mayor declined to elaborate on the city's reasons for consulting with Washington. Ignizio said he had been told by the mayor's office that Pentagon officials were concerned that a celebration could spark violence overseas and were evaluating the risk.

Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said that he has not heard that issue raised and that New York has yet to make a formal proposal. He also said officials are grateful communities around the country are finding ways to recognize the sacrifices of troops and their families.

The last combat troops in Iraq pulled out more than a week ago. About 91,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are in Afghanistan, battling a stubborn Taliban insurgency and struggling to train Afghan forces so that they eventually can take over security. Many U.S. troops who fought in the Iraq War could end up being sent to Afghanistan.

A parade might invite criticism from those who believe the U.S. left Iraq too soon, as well as from those who feel the war was unjustified. It could also trigger questions about assertions of victory.

Mrozek noted that President George W. Bush's administration referred to military action in the Middle East as part of a global war on terror, a conflict that's hard to define by conventional measures of success.

"This is not a war on a particular place or a particular force," he said.

Bush himself illustrated the perils of celebrating milestones in the war, Mrozek said, when he landed on an aircraft carrier and hailed the end of major combat operations in Iraq behind a "Mission Accomplished" banner in May 2003. U.S. troops remained in Iraq for 8½ more years, and Bush was criticized over the banner.

The benchmarks were clearer in previous wars. After World War II, parades marked Japan's surrender. After the Gulf War, celebrations marked the troops' return after Iraqi forces were driven out of Kuwait.

The only mass celebrations of U.S. military activities since Sept. 11, 2001, were largely spontaneous: Large crowds gathered in Times Square and outside the White House in April after Osama bin Laden was killed.

At the same time, Iraq veterans aren't coming home to the hostility many Vietnam veterans encountered. The first large-scale event honoring Vietnam veterans was not held until 1982, when thousands marched in Washington for the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Parades were later held in New York in 1985 — 10 years after the war ended — and in Chicago the next year.

"I think we've seen recent history in Vietnam, where that wasn't done appropriately, and we want to make sure we do the appropriate thing by those that made the ultimate sacrifice and risked their lives for us to say thanks," Ignizio said.

At Fort Hood in Texas, troops have returned to welcome-home ceremonies at the post that were attended mostly by soldiers' families. Soldiers in uniform run to hug their loved ones after an announcer yells, "Charge!"

Col. Douglas Crissman, commander of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, said Saturday after one such ceremony that that is as large-scale a welcome as the troops need.

"This is just the right size because it's quick and meaningful and it gets them home to their families," Crissman said.

Staff Sgt. Troy Rudolph was among the first troops to arrive in Iraq in March 2003 and was in the last combat brigade to leave. Rudolph said that a large-scale ceremony would be nice but that he feels appreciated even without confetti falling from the sky.

"I've had people buy me lunch at airports just because I was in uniform," said Rudolph, who lives at Fort Hood with his wife and 9-year-old stepdaughter. "It's emotional because you don't realize what kind of impact you have on people across the country."

In Washington, federal agencies take the lead on planning parades, and so far nothing is in the works. A spokesman for Mayor Vincent Gray said the city would be honored to host a parade but said local officials wouldn't take the lead in staging one.

In recent years, most of the ticker-tape parades in New York have been held for the city's championship sports teams.

"The sports celebrations that we've had in New York for the Yankees and the Mets were amazing," Oddo said. "But these are the real heroes."
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R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...



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Old 12-28-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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WOW, go figure. Go ahead and die for us, but we aint gonna appreciate ya for it. Absolutely appalling. Well, us REAL American say thank you everyday for our men and women in uniform in our prayer and thanksgivings.
Thank You.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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yes thank you so much i believe that ppl are choosing to show there love in day to day doings, some times it makes the news. at every powwow i go to there is always a dance with a honoring of the vets women and men are invited to come down and dance behind the Gourd dancers then everyone can then shake their hands and tell them thank you its right after grand entry... some times Thomas carries the flag
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
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I have had folks pay for my lunch a few times and even some brews. And it is a nice gesture. Also, been given eagle feathers and honor songs at powwows.

Only thing I do not care for is someone calling me a, "Hero". I reserve that for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I have known a lot of those I served with who paid with their lives, limbs and blood.
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R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...



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Old 12-28-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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NSB, when our units and regiments return they usually are given a parade and freedom of the city in which the regt or unit reside. That of course is dependant upon each city to offer that. It is not expected, but it is nice when it happens.

The City of Toronto has a nice gesture every year when the big fair opens up and they have Warrior's Day with a parade for all the veterans and serving members. Lots of our American brethren come up for it and it's nice to see people on their feet applauding when they march past.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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I try to do as much as I can in aspects of buying lunch, smokes, a beer, whatever, if I am unable to do so, I at least make sure that I shake their hand and tell them thank you.

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Originally Posted by Ndnsoldierboy View Post
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Only thing I do not care for is someone calling me a, "Hero". I reserve that for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I have known a lot of those I served with who paid with their lives, limbs and blood.
You might want to get used to it, cause as far as I am concerned and many other I know, we all have the same attitude, if you wear our country's uniform, that makes you a hero. I don't care what your ranks, position or duty is. In my opinion, a soldier is a soldier, and a soldier is a hero.

I try to do as much as I can in aspects of buying lunch, smokes, a beer, whatever, if I am unable to do so, I at least make sure that I shake their hand and tell them thanks you.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:14 AM   #7
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #8
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R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...



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Old 01-20-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:30 AM   #10
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Some think a big parade would be unseemly and premature. After all, tens of thousands of U.S. troops are still fighting in Afghanistan.
And many veterans of the Iraq War could end up getting sent back into battle in Afghanistan.


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