Last Flight Out Of Iraq: ‘It’s Great Being A Part Of History. It’s An Even Better Feeling To Be Going Home’

Yesterday, the last American convoy in Iraq crossed the border into Kuwait thereby officially ending the nine-year war. The last military flight out of Iraq occurred hours earlier from Imam Ali Air Base. “This is history being made,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Anthony Rock told the remaining airmen. “The last 62 airman coming out of the last base. The last fight, the last night for operation New Dawn on top of Iraqi Freedom,” he said.

“It’s awesome, it’s a great feeling,” said Airman First Class Damian Guardiola. “It’s great being a part of history, but it’s an even better feeling to be going home.” The Wall Street Journal has video of moments from the U.S. military’s last flight out of Iraq:

The other side of the good news about leaving Iraq is the tremendous toll the war has had on the United States in both blood and treasure. The Washington Post reported on the last combat fatality of the entire war. Army Spec. David Emanuel Hickman was killed on November 14 in Baghdad by a roadside bomb — the 4,474th U.S. service member to die in the war. The Post published a picture of Hickman resting at Al Asad Airbase in Al Anbar Province:

“it’s crazy that he died,” said a close friend to Hickman, “No matter your position on this war — if you’re for or against it — I think everybody thinks we shouldn’t have been over there anymore.”