Lubbock residents are eagerly anticipating the return of friends and family in uniform as U.S. forces officially lowered the flag of command in Baghdad Thursday.
Nearly all U.S. troops are expected to come home before the Dec. 31 deadline.
Lee Daniels is thrilled that the conflict is ending. "I just had a grandson that came back from Afghanistan, so I couldn't be more elated. I think we need to come home. I think the United States is trying to save the world and we can't do it."
James Fiting was a photographer in Viet Nam. "I think it's probably overdue," Fiting said. "We cannot be the police of the world indefinitely."
Norma Nash had a brother in Viet Nam. "I remember when he came home and it was around the holidays," Nash said. "It was the most precious thing there was. It just makes you stop and count your blessings - your family, friends, kids. You just want to go home and hug them, and kiss them, and love them. I'm really glad they're getting to come home."
Lubbock photographer Katelyn Mortensen has worked with several military families.
"I know actually one family who has a little girl and it will be her first Christmas," Mortensen said. "Her dad is actually home right now, so I know that's going to be a really big thrill for them. It really is a blessing that it's ending and everyone is going to get to come home. Tis the season to be jolly and Merry Christmas to everybody who gets to come home to be with their family."
Ashley Cantu of Crosbyton said, "I think it's the best Christmas present we'll ever get as a nation."
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