I attended a Welcome Home ceremony for a brigade of nearly 4000 American soldiers who just returned home from fifteen months of duty in Baghdad, Iraq. It was a very moving tribute to these men and women who gave of themselves so unselfishly for the cause of liberty and especially for the 14 fallen soldiers and their families. The story they told is quite different from the ones we hear in the media. They spoke to us about the Iraqi people, about their becoming more unified as a nation and less divided into religious factions, about the strides being made where women’s rights are concerned, about the strengthening of their economy, about new schools being built, about the ongoing turnover of defense into the hands of the Iraqi army, about a nation that is finding itself and reveling in its emerging identity. It was heartwarming to hear the stories, to see the pride on the faces of the soldiers who felt they had made a difference in the world. I think this photo summarizes the message they gave us at the Welcome Home ceremony—a message from troops who felt they had succeeded in accomplishing the mission they were sent to do, that they were “in step” with the vision for a better Iraq and a better world.