U.S. NAVAL BASE, GUAM, July 27, 2010 — Nearly a decade into war, America’s military members continue “stepping up every time,” no matter how difficult or extensive the task, the deputy defense secretary said here today.
“We’re at a point in our nation’s history where we’re really asking an extraordinary amount of the nation’s military,” William J. Lynn III said.
Lynn is here to discuss with military, government and civilian leaders the realignment of about 8,500 Marines from Okinawa to Guam. He also allocated some time to talk with sailors of Submarine Squadron 15.
The nation is engaged in its longest, continuous conflict, Lynn told the servicemembers, with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq now lasting longer than the nation’s participation in World Wars I and II combined.
Deployments are lengthy, Lynn acknowledged, and servicemembers often are home for nine to 15 months before they’re called on to deploy again.
“We know that’s stressful on your families,” he said. “That’s stressful on your loved ones; of course, stressful on you. It’s a difficult thing the nation is asking you to do.”
This service and sacrifice is evident to the nation’s leaders, Lynn said.
“The performance in that difficulty is recognized,” he said. “It’s recognized in the department, recognized by [Defense] Secretary [Robert M.] Gates, recognized by Congress and recognized by President [Barack] Obama.
“You should be justly proud of what you’re doing,” Lynn added. “I know your families are very proud of what you’re doing as they well should be.”
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)