More than 1.5 million Americans served in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, more than 30,000 troops were wounded during the war and 4,500 lost their lives fighting for our country, said President Barrack Obama during a speech to welcome home the American troops on Wednesday at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

But Obama said that those numbers don’t tell the full story of the war in Iraq and that Americans represented the country with skill and bravery.

“Our troops have served tour after tour of duty, with precious little dwell time in between,” Obama said. “Our Guard and Reserve units stepped up with unprecedented service. You’ve endured dangerous foot patrols and you’ve endured the pain of seeing your friends and comrades fall. You’ve had to be more than soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen –- you’ve also had to be diplomats and development workers and trainers and peacemakers. Through all this, you have shown why the United States military is the finest fighting force in the history of the world.”

Obama told the troops that the government’s commitment doesn’t end when they take off their uniform and that he will stand by troops, making sure they get all the care and benefits they deserve.

“You’re the finest that our nation has to offer. And after years of rebuilding Iraq, we want to enlist our veterans in the work of rebuilding America. That’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to extend more opportunities to those who have served.”

First Lady Michele Obama told the large crowd of troops how overwhelmed and proud she was of them for the sacrifice they’ve made for their country.

“I have to tell you that when I look out at this crowd, I am simply overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed and proud, because I know the level of strength and commitment that you all display every single day. Whenever this country calls, you all are the ones who answer, no matter the circumstance, no matter the danger, no matter the sacrifice.”