Obama to host dinner to honour Iraq sacrifices

Obama to host dinner to honour Iraq sacrifices

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will host a dinner at the White House on February 29 to honour members of the armed services who served in Iraq, a presidential aide said today.

"This dinner is an expression of the nation's gratitude for the achievements and enormous sacrifices of the brave Americans who served in the Iraq war, and of the families who supported them," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

The dinner on February 29, will include men and women in uniform from all ranks, services, states and backgrounds, representative of the many thousands of Americans who served in Iraq.

"We will be honored to be a part of 'A Nation's Gratitude' hosted by President and Mrs. Obama to recognize the significant contributions of the US military and military families to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn," General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a posting on the Facebook.

"These heroes and those they represent have sacrificed to defend our nation and provide the Iraqi people an opportunity for a peaceful and secure future. I'm proud of their courage and appreciate this appropriate recognition of their service," Dempsey said.

The United States lost more than 4,500 soldiers in the Iraq war, and thousands more returned home maimed by the loss of limbs, brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorders.