Thank you for your service.
I have also served at an Embassy - and let me just give a quick Happy Birthday! to the Marine Corps - and worked with defense attaches and Marine security guards. Their professionalism, motivation, and job knowledge has always impressed me. I had the opportunity to help the MSGs at Embassy Beirut settle into the community by getting them out to meet youth, serve as real-life examples of Americans to the high school and middle school students that I worked with through our education and sports programs. Their diversity, loyalty and friendliness - not to mention their athletic ability - made a huge impression on the students. Some of these students are from areas in Lebanon where leaders are openly anti-America. This was the first chance to meet an American in person, not just see the hyperbole of reality television.
|At the Independence Day celebration|
Thank you for your service, not only protecting us but also reaching out and changing stereotypes.
Today is also an opportunity to seriously consider how we treat veterans of military service. It is an opportunity to consider how often we need to send men and women into danger. An opportunity to think about the consequences to the health, mental and physical, of war on entire generations of Americans. And how much we invest to bring them back to health. It is so important to protect and defend the rights and recovery of those who have protected and defended us.