President Barack Obama announced Friday that U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year, marking the end of a conflict that’s gone one for nearly nine years. During that time, Wisconsin played an active part in the war and the rebuilding of Iraq.
More than 12,000 Wisconsin National Guard members have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9-11. The most recent deployment was the largest from the state since World War II, with 3,200 members of the 32nd Infantry Brigade heading overseas.
Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Guthrie, a spokeswoman with the Guard, says the majority of Wisconsin’s troops are now home. Only about 100 remain in Iraq right now, but she notes that the state’s units accomplished every mission that was given to them since 2003.
Guthrie says they hope their presence has made a difference and the Guard is extending its best wishes to the people of the Iraq.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports 0:57
WHBY’s Mike Kemmeter contributed to this report.