Americans will likely not be seeing a ticker-tape parade anytime soon for U.S. troops returning from Iraq, as it is unclear whether the veterans will ever enjoy the grand, flag-waving spectacle-laden homecoming that fighting men and women received after World War II and the Gulf War, The Associated Press reported.
According to the news outlet, officials in New York and Washington have said they would be happy to stage a big celebration, but Pentagon officials noted they haven’t been asked to plan such an event.
The AP reported that part of the hesitation comes from the notion that the bloody war in Afghanistan is ongoing, and a big celebration could be seen as premature.
“It’s going to be a bit awkward to be celebrating too much, given how much there is going on and how much there will be going on in Afghanistan,” Don Mrozek, a military history professor at Kansas State University, told the news outlet.
The Houston Chronicle reported that State Department officials have noted they expect 5,000 security contractors will remain in Iraq during 2012 to protect U.S. diplomats, as well as a “life support” team of an additional 4,500 contractors to provide other services.