President Barack Obama marks two-year anniversary of Iraq War's end

2:57 PM, Aug 31, 2012   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) President Obama is flying to El Paso today to mark one of the milestones of his presidency, the end of U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

Obama will speak to troops at Fort Bliss, which he last visited at war's end two years ago.

"On the two-year anniversary of the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the President will have a roundtable discussion with service-members and military families and speak to troops at Fort Bliss," said the White House schedule.

Obama will focus on efforts to help veterans who have returned from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, including jobs and health care programs.

"Part of ending the war in Iraq responsibly is standing by those who served," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

From the Associated Press:

Obama on Friday was to sign an executive order that would direct federal agencies to expand their efforts at addressing the mental health needs of veterans, service members and their families and to increase measures aimed at preventing suicide.

Among the steps spelled out in the order is an increase in the number of Department of Veterans Affairs counselors. It also orders the Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services to undertake a mental health study aimed at improving prevention, diagnoses and treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injury.

Fort Bliss soldiers participated in the Iraqi invasion in 2003 and were among the last to serve in combat roles there. The post endured significant losses during the Iraq War.

David Jackson, USA TODAY

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