BOISE -- Friday, President Barack Obama announced that after nearly nine years, America's War in Iraq will end. The President says all of the U.S.'s troops will be home by the end of the year.
I heard about it when I walked in here, said Capt. Nicholas Jurewicz, a pilot out of Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Jurewicz heard the news of the Iraq War ending as he was coming into KTVB for a totally different interview, The guy in the lobby said, 'You hear we're pulling out of Iraq?' Wow! Really?
Jurewicz says he's excited those serving in Iraq will soon get to have happy returns like the one the 116th had last month, and share the holidays with their families.
There's a lot of deployed individuals and gunfighters from Mountain Home Air Force Base, individuals that are out there in Iraq, who've probably been out there for a month, maybe even a year, said Jurewicz. The fact that they're going to be home before Christmas, before the holidays there is just a great bonus for them personally, their families, and obviously bringing the whole wing back together as well.
There are still some Idaho soldiers and airmen serving in Iraq, like the 391st Engineer Company, composed of Army Reservists.
Col. Tim Marsano with the Idaho National Guard says this pullout was always the goal of Operation New Dawn, but he says, the official announcement is still good news.
It's been a long, tough road that we've undergone over the course of the last eight years, eight-and-a-half years in Iraq, said Marsano. We're never going to forget the lives lost, or those who sustained injuries there. Our thoughts and prayers are with those folks.
Thoughts and prayers to their fellow servicemembers, who they see as their brothers and sisters.
According to Jurewicz, We got a big happy family.
Family, that's coming home.
Of course, this doesn't mean the end of combat for Idaho soldiers and airmen deployed out of Gowen Field and Mountain Home.
In fact, Marsano says Gowen Field will be sending some Blackhawk helicopters to Afghanistan as early as next year.
Captain Jurewicz will be making an appearance high above the Bronco game on Saturday. He'll be leading an F-15 flyover before the matchup with Air Force.