As American troops finally were extricating themselves from the Iraq War the past few days after nine painful and costly years -- with 4,500 Americans having died in that faraway conflict -- it was reported that the last U.S. soldier killed was 23-year-old U.S. Army paratrooper David Emanuel Hickman, of Greensboro, N.C.
He died in Baghdad on Nov. 14, the victim of an explosive device, the Defense Department stated.
Hickman was remembered by his fellow soldiers, family and friends as having been a physical fitness enthusiast and an outstanding linebacker on the football team of Northeast Guilford High School in North Carolina before he entered Army service and Iraq.
Every U.S. casualty in the Iraq War was tragic. We are relieved that our frustrating combat involvement there is at an end.
And we hope that Iraq is sufficiently stabilized now that there will be no need for a return of U.S. forces to that country.