Sunteți pe pagina 1din 13

EVENT: Sustainer Strong

DATE/LOCATION: 11 NOV, Holt Stadium

Good morning Soldiers, fellow Service
members, Veterans and guests of the 3
Thank you for attending this historic ceremony and
first-ever mass-reenlistment here at Joint Base
Balad. I especially want to welcome our trio of
Sergeants Major who have traveled the roads of Iraq
to be here today. Roads - that I might add - are
significantly more safe today than a year ago thanks
to your leadership, discipline, and your constant
professionalism. Sergeant Major Tennant the
Soldiers and colors look great today and I thank you
for that.

Members of the 4
Infantry Division Band you
look great and add class, dignity and honor
wherever you perform. Thanks for being here with
us today.
Finally, Id like to recognize a behind the scenes
Soldier whose determination, grit, and hard work
have made todays event possible. SFC Adam
McKinney where are you? Hes probably out in
the parking lot signing up another re-enlistee! Raise
your hand. Ladies and gentlemen a round of
applause please for this great American who did all
the behind the scenes work over the past two
months to make this happen.

It is an honor to be here today amongst so many
who serve and have served. As we gather together
here on Veterans Day, we really have two
purposes. First, we remember and honor the men
and women of our Armed Forces through the
centuries who have come together to fight for a
common cause. Second we celebrate Sustainer
Strong and recognize the renewed sacrifice
demonstrated by the select individuals on this stage.
Both groups are distinguished Veterans in their
own right. Theyve defended America when our
borders, our people and our way of life have been
threatened. When others turned away, it was our
Veterans who were willing to stand up, be counted

and put their lives on the line - yesterday, today and
As Sustainers we often speak in terms of
rounds, gallons, rations, and tons. But our most
potent weapons in war our most precious
commodities without a doubt, are the brave men and
women in uniform.
After the Revolutionary War, President George
Washington said, we owe Veterans a debt of
gratitude, indeed a debt of honor. So, just as we
gather here today back home our fellow
Americans will gather together in parades,
luncheons, memorial services, and other
remembrances to pay tribute to our Veterans.

Today is a chance for us all to thank those who
have selflessly answered the call, and to remember
those who have served.
I know we have some Veterans here today. At
this time, I invite anyone who has served in the
military to stand. [Address standing Veterans]:
Speaking on behalf of all those wearing uniform
of all colors and services, I am proud to stand side-
by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder with you here today.
Every morning we wake to serve for a country made
free because of men and women like you. Ladies
and gentlemen our countrys Veterans. [applause]
As I said before our first purpose is to take time
today to thank those that have come before us.

Veterans Day is a time to thank and honor EVERY
American who has answered the call to duty and
served in the military - especially those who have
served during times of war.
For 233 years, the men and women of the U.S.
Armed Forces have raised their hands and spoken
the words these heroes in front of you will speak
today. For our Nation to be successful - for us to
sustain our freedoms - we must be willing to serve.
This willingness and sacrifice began in the
spring of 1775 on Lexington Green. On that day,
Captain Jonas Parker and 75 armed Minutemen
stood up in the face of over six hundred hardened
British Regulars. As the Professional British Soldiers

raised their weapons, Captain Parker gave an order.
"Don't fire unless you are fired on, but if they want a
war, let it begin here." Those first Colonial American
Soldiers who died in Lexington made the ultimate
sacrifice for an idea the idea that they could form
their own nation.
These citizen soldiers displayed the warrior
ethos and values that are central to all that we do
and all that we are. Since then, generations have
donned wool, khaki, BDUs and ACUs to carry the
fight where their country has asked at home and
abroad. At historic places whose names will echo
forever in our common language of honor.
Memorials and testaments of sacrifice like

Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Muse Argonne,
Bastogne, and Khe Sanh. But also forgotten names
but no less sacred like Waxhaws, Sailors Creek,
Soissons [swas-on], Roi-Namur [Roy-Naymur], and
In each corner of the world, whether on forever
remembered ground or on rocky crags, icy roads or
muddy patches of earth whose names will never be
spoken again - they symbolized the nobility of
selfless service and sacrifice by which their deeds
and service live on for generations. They stood and
still stand today to be counted forever as Soldiers,
Sailors, Airmen, Marines, - AMERICANS ALL -

fighting in the forces which guard our country and its
way of life.
But our second purpose here today is also
important. We gather today to remind ourselves that
our mission as fighting men and women must
continue. And to continue we must have those
that are willing, able, and are inspired to raise their
hands again and again to be counted with those that
came before them.
These volunteers today this new generation of
Veterans - come from all walks of life. They
represent many different races, ethnic and religious
groups. They come from all across America too.
Our volunteers here today are men and women from

small towns like Bald Knob, Arkansas, Ironton,
Missouri, Shadyside, Ohio and Gunbarell, Texas.
They come from big cities too like Brooklyn,
Chicago, Miami, Houston and Indianapolis. And
they come from across the seas like Pago Pago,
American Samoa and Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. But
regardless of their homes - like so many minutemen
of old - marching across fields - converging on an
idea and dream of freedom theyve answered their
Nations call to service.
Yet today they share a common bond with the
American Veterans that have gone before them.
They swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution
and go where sent and do what is asked. These

common men and women have always done, and
will continue to do, uncommon things.
While history records the valor of the American
Veteran in terms of units and armies and forces, the
role of the American Veteran is the story of each
individual who has answered the call of duty. The
stories of those in front of you are still being written.
Today another chapter has begun. Wherever they
go, whatever they do each story will be different.
Each will contain trials, and deployments, and tales
from lands yet to be seen. However the common
theme in each will be their unanimous sacrifice
their universal commitment. Please join me in

thanking them again for their actions today.
This gathering today to honor the American
Veteran and these volunteers is a tribute to their
devotion to duty, love of country, and bond for their
fellow Soldiers. In closing, Id like to paraphrase a
quote from Steven Ambroses book Band of
Brothers. If someone were to ask me today if I
considered myself a hero I would say no but I
would say I served in the company of heroes.
Today I definitely consider myself in the company of
heroes past present and future.
God bless you who came here today to share
this tribute. God bless the nation's Veterans all

around the world. And, God bless the United States
of America where, because of all the service
members today, and the Veterans of yesterday is
still ... land of the free . . . home of the brave.

Sustaining the Line!