But all wars have casualties, losses and sacrifices - and I remember the men who went with us and did not return alive. I remember the memorial services we held for them in the dusty confines of forward operating bases.
And I remember the Ghosts of Fallujah and Tarmiyah - the haunted faces of the men who returned from the thickest of battles with brows heavy from the assault, and the death and suffering of their comrades.
I remember the medics, normally so calm around blood and pain. There was something different in their eyes afterward, as if their training and experience had failed them, even though it hadn't.
I remember the chaplains, and how it must feel to be the man wearing the cross and trying to keep morale and hope alive for these men's friends in combat as well as their families back home.
I rejoice that all of the ones you gave me are still here, Lord.
But I remember some very sad moments as well."