USA — Lynn Thanks Troops for Their Service, Sacrifice

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)

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