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      Goodbye Iraq: Last US combat brigade heads home

      In this Aug. 16, 2010 photo, a U.S Army soldier dismantles a machine gun mounted on his Stryker armored vehicle immediately after crossing the border from Iraq into Kuwait. / AP Photo

      Staff Sergeant Luke Dill was an 18-year-old specialist, when he rolled into Iraq as part of the U.S. invasion. Now, after two tours of duty, he's 25 and says he's proud to be leaving the country with the last of the U.S. combat units.

      Troops of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division began rolling across the border into Kuwait before dawn this morning with whoops and cheers. They are officially designated the last combat brigade to leave Iraq and they're doing so well ahead of President Obama's Aug. 31 deadline for ending U.S. combat operations there.

      However, the U.S. presence in Iraq is far from over. Scatterings of troops still await departure, and some 50,000 will stay another year in a noncombat role. They will carry weapons to defend themselves and accompany Iraqi troops on missions if asked. And special forces will continue to help Iraqis hunt for terrorists.

      More on the Iraq war: Baghdad suicide bomb hits army recruits, kills 60 White House: US on track to end Iraq combat role