Michael's Dispatches

Message From Secretary Gates

29 June 2011

The message below is going out this morning to all US military personnel, active and reserve, around the world:

TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES: TOMORROW, 30 JUNE 2011, I WILL RETIRE AS SECRETARY OF DEFENSE.  IT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST HONOR OF MY LIFE TO SERVE AND TO LEAD YOU FOR THE PAST FOUR AND A HALF YEARS.

ALL OF THAT TIME WE HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN TWO WARS AND COUNTLESS OTHER OPERATIONS.  IT HAS BEEN A DIFFICULT TIME FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR FAMILIES, FROM LONG AND REPEATED DEPLOYMENTS FOR THOSE IN ALL FOUR SERVICES -- AND THE ASSOCIATED LONG SEPARATIONS FROM LOVED ONES -- TO THE ANGUISH OF THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE LOST FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN COMBAT OR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE SUFFERED VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF WAR YOURSELVES.  BUT YOUR DEDICATION, COURAGE AND SKILL HAVE KEPT AMERICA SAFE EVEN WHILE BRINGING THE WAR IN IRAQ TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION AND, I BELIEVE, AT LAST TURNING THE TIDE IN AFGHANISTAN.  YOUR COUNTRYMEN OWE YOU THEIR FREEDOM AND THEIR SECURITY.  THEY SLEEP SAFELY AT NIGHT AND PURSUE THEIR DREAMS DURING THE DAY BECAUSE YOU STAND THE WATCH AND PROTECT THEM.

FOR FOUR AND A HALF YEARS, I HAVE SIGNED THE ORDERS DEPLOYING YOU, ALL TOO OFTEN INTO HARM'S WAY.  THIS HAS WEIGHED ON ME EVERY DAY.  I HAVE KNOWN ABOUT AND FELT YOUR HARDSHIP, YOUR DIFFICULTIES, YOUR SACRIFICE MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.  I HAVE FELT PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR EACH OF YOU, AND SO I HAVE TRIED TO DO ALL I COULD TO PROVIDE WHATEVER WAS NEEDED SO YOU COULD COMPLETE YOUR MISSIONS SUCCESSFULLY AND COME HOME SAFELY -- AND, IF HURT, GET THE FASTEST AND BEST CARE IN THE WORLD.

YOU ARE THE BEST THAT AMERICA HAS TO OFFER.  MY ADMIRATION AND AFFECTION FOR YOU IS WITHOUT LIMIT, AND I WILL THINK ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES AND PRAY FOR YOU EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. GOD BLESS YOU.

//ROBERT M. GATES//

Comments   

 
+1 # Mary Waldner 2011-06-29 15:17
Godspeed, Michael!
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+1 # Debbie Stephens 2011-06-29 21:49
Michael i will hold you in my prayers every time i pray/which is alot of the time/please be safe/GOD BLESS YOU MICHAEL/your missed at home/hope to see you next time your in the area
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-2 # Violette 2011-06-30 07:37
Really a Noble Man,Monsieur Gates ! ! Happy retirement,mayb e a" Memoire en vue" next ?

Pannetta,no bread for America,one more leftist,globali st,just listen to Erin Klein...-sad sight---

PIHO=Politically Incorrect Humble Opinion
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+1 # Bernard Kramer 2011-06-30 08:24
Sir, I served during your tenure Fort Knox 06 to 08 and came out of retirement to support our missions Iraq, Afghanistan so I too could make a difference. Thank you
for your quiet assuming leadership of the finest group of Americans and their families. You too Sir, are a Soldier's
Soldier! Enjoy retirement and thanks for most.essential leadership of our military when it was most needed!
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