By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press ServiceNovember 8, 2006
WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2006 - The troops in Iraq appreciate the support and help they receive from the United States, a top coalition spokesman said today.
"Veterans Day is an important holiday for the men and women here," Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman for Multinational Force Iraq, said during a telephone interview.
He said U.S. leaders understand how incredible the more than 140,000 U.S. men and women in Iraq are. "That's a big piece that sometimes people miss," Caldwell said. "There are 1.4 million active duty servicemembers, 1.2 million reserve, 25 million living veterans, and they all look to these 140,000 young men and women and say, 'They represent us.'
"For those who are in combat, for those who are at the tip of the spear, we are just really blessed as a nation to have such dedicated, committed men and women as we do serving in uniform," he said.
Caldwell said the men and women in Iraq understand that the nation stands behind them, and they are grateful for that support and the support that many Americans are showing the families of those deployed.
The general, who travels all over the country, said he is amazed at how upbeat and optimistic troops in Iraq are. "They see the challenges; they understand there's still a long ways to go, but they also understand that in their areas they are making a difference," he said. "They don't see the big picture all the time, but they see (what's happening) in their particular areas. The vast majority of them feel they are making a difference and they are making the country a safer place to live over time."