In his last Thanksgiving as the Commander in Chief Tuesday, President Bush thanked U.S. troops for a "job well done," noting that even though thousands of soldiers are returning home, the war is not yet over.
During his visit to Fort Campbell, Ky., Bush offered comfort for troops coming back home and for those who are preparing to deploy again. In November alone, more than 10,000 soldiers had returned to the military base, most of them from Iraq.
"In recent weeks, this post has been the scene of heart-warming family reunions," he said. "Many of you have recently finished deployments to Iraq. You performed with courage and distinction on the front lines of the war on terror. You have returned on success."
Still, the President warned that "the war in Iraq is not over" and stressed the importance of victory in the country.
"Success will frustrate Iran's ambitions to dominate the region. Success will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty and democracy is possible. Success will deny al-Qaeda a safe haven for launching new attacks," Bush said. "Success in Iraq will mean that the American people are more secure at home."
Over the next few weeks, the White House says 3,000 soldiers from the 101st Airborne will deploy to Afghanistan while 450 will be sent to Iraq. In January, another 1,200 will be deployed to Iraq from Fort Campbell.
Bush called the work of the troops "historical" and and said he expected their efforts in Iraq will resonate far beyond the country and into history books.
Sources: CBN News, Associated Press