End of Iraq war brings bittersweet homecoming for military famil - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

End of Iraq war brings bittersweet homecoming for military families

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

For the families of those who served, and are still serving, the news of the end in Iraq is an emotional doubled edged sword.

Its one less kill zone that their loved ones will be asked to serve in.

Families of servicemen are overjoyed at the end of military action in Iraq.

With the symbolic flag retirement in Iraq, the U.S. military involvement in the country comes to an end. For East Texas families who have loved ones who've served in the conflict, it is a bitter sweet moment.

"It is bitter sweet because you have a son that comes home from over there and you know that somewhere there's a mother that's not going to have that experience," says Jackie Gambles, whose son is still serving, "That's what's so hard."

The families feel their servicemen and women did make a difference.

Patricia Pondoff's son did two tours in Iraq.

"I'm extremely proud of him, not only proud of what he does, but proud of who he is," Pondoff expressed.

Gambles says, "For everyone over there, it was a job well done, for what they gave up going over there... job well done."

Penny Pemberton welcomed her daughter home from Iraq earlier this year.

"The whole time she was over there, I wrote her books, not letter," Pemberton says, "I feel great because a part of me knows that they're not going to send her back."

Was it worth the price that was paid in human loss?

"It cost us dearly," expressed Pondoff, "There is still right in this world, no matter how wrong things may seem... I appreciate you fighting for our freedom."

"Love every last one of them," Gambles said, "Love them, glad you're home. Thanks for a job well done."

Many of the families loved ones have been rotated to stateside duty after their tours in Iraq.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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