TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - 10 years ago this week, Operation Iraqi Freedom took effect.
Over the years, many troops have come and gone from the Wabash Valley.
Even before the Gulf War, the United States had a presence in the Middle East.
Major Frank Howard said it's a strategically vital area of the world.
"We've been in Iraq from the cease fire in 1991 up until President Obama had the last forces withdrawn from Iraq," said Major Howard. "From the time I was enlisted until the time I graduated from the Air Force academy in 1996, we had been flying combat operations every day in northern and southern watch for that duration."
From 1998 up until Operation Iraqi Freedom, Major Howard estimates weekly, even daily, engagements with Iraqi aircraft.
From 1999 to 2003, there were about 150 violations of the fly zone by Iraqi aircraft.
They flew approximately 150,000 missions from the end of the Gulf War to the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"So from a military perspective, we had been in the Middle East the entire time that the American public was really unaware that we were over there and what we were doing," said Major Howard.
But Major Howard remembers the resurgence of patriotism in local communities and awareness of what troops were doing overseas.
And he says it continues, even so many years later.
"People fight for different reasons. Everyone is different. But in the end, you don't fight for the enemy that's in front of you. You are fighting for those that are behind you that you're protecting," said Major Howard.
The holiday season is a time for family but what about kids who don't have one? Tonight the Department of Child Services says it’s in a state of emergency, and is in need of foster parents across the Wabash Valley.
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US Attorney Joe Hogsett held a press conference today for 26-year-old Emery Norton.
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A Terre Haute developer is cutting the City a break in allowing the Redevelopment Commission to build a 2400 foot sanitary sewer line without requiring the City to buy an easement for it.
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