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Secretary of State delivers appreciation message to DoD servicemembers

  • Published
  • By Airman Whitney Amstutz
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a message of gratitude and praise to all servicemembers willing to devote their lives to the defense of freedom Oct. 29 here.

Looking out at her audience, Secretary Clinton went on to convey the magnitude of such a commitment, and the impact it has on the lives of millions of Americans today.

"With Veterans Day approaching, I want you and your families to know that the American people remain grateful and proud for your service," Secretary Clinton said. "The dedication and sacrifices of the American military are very obvious in this region. We've been standing sentinel. We've been there defending, and taking the fight to those who would undermine freedom, our way of life and the opportunity for millions of others to have a chance to live up to their God-given potential."

Secretary Clinton is in the Asia-Pacific Region to communicate the U.S. message of engagement on a variety of strategic, political, multilateral and humanitarian issues.

"I am here on my sixth trip as Secretary of State to the Asia-Pacific Region because this is the center of much of the change, and many of the challenges of the 21st Century," Secretary Clinton said. "As we step up our engagement we will depend more than ever on each of you, the men and women of the armed forces. Your mission is evolving for the 21st Century and no one understands that better than you. Humanitarian compassion is what sets us apart. No one doubts the ferocity of our defensive and offensive ability, but everyone counts on who we are as Americans and how we convey those fundamental connections, human being to human being."

Secretary Clinton also noted the importance of Andersen Air Force Base's newest mission, the Global Hawk, in achieving new heights in world-wide outreach.

"After the devastating earthquake in Haiti last January, the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, like the one now based here, was used to survey the damage and identify safe landing places for aircraft carrying relief supplies," Secretary Clinton said. "These humanitarian missions are some of the purest expressions of American generosity and I thank you for showing what is best about all of us."

Brig. Gen. John Doucette, 36th Wing commander, was appreciative of the positive message Secretary Clinton relayed on behalf of the American people.

"I would like to thank Secretary Clinton for taking time out of her schedule to address the servicemembers here," General Doucette said. "It is through the efforts of all our servicemembers that our nation's mission is accomplished. This visit has served as a reminder of what we are fighting for: the safety of not only those we love, but the country we took an oath to protect."

Before concluding her visit to Andersen Air Force Base, Secretary Clinton thanked General Doucette, Andersen Airmen and their families once again for their hospitality and continued support and service.

"It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to come here and personally express the appreciation and gratitude of all of those who, may not know your names and may never come to Guam, but because you're here, sleep more soundly at night," Secretary Clinton said. "I look out at all of you and it makes me very proud to be Secretary of State of our great country."