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Thread: Secretary Gates Addresses the Marine Corps Association

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default Secretary Gates Addresses the Marine Corps Association

    SWJ Blog - Secretary Gates Addresses the Marine Corps Association.

    I was privileged to be in attendance and consider it one of the most effective presentations I have ever heard. Secretary Gates was humorous, showed great humility, used historical examples effectively, offered some interesting thoughts on what we have leaned from the ongoing conflicts, and was sincerely moved when he talked about our losses on the battlefield. He gave me a glimmer of hope for recovery of our too long abused defense establishment.

    --Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper (USMC Ret.)
    Full transcript at the link...

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    DeRidder LA


    I remember vividly a day in December 1991, when as CIA Director I – along with then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney – attended an arrival ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base. We were there to receive the remains of two men – two of our nation’s “bravest sons” – who had been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by terrorists in Lebanon. One was William Buckley, CIA station chief in Beirut. The other was Marine Lieutenant Colonel William Higgins, who served with the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

    These two Americans were murdered by the same Hezbollah-linked extremists who killed hundreds of Americans in 1983 at the Marine barracks and U.S. embassy in Beirut. It is important to remember that until the morning of September 11, 2001, Hezbollah had been responsible for the deaths of more Americans, our countrymen, than any other terrorist group in the world.
    Not much makes me tear up. This did because I, too, was there with Ron Johnson, Steve Picirrilli, and Steve France (CAN). It touched me that the SecDef recalled that day.

    Good speech altogether and one completely without buzz words.



    Rich Higgins (left) and Steve Piccirrilli (right) at Marine Corps Birthday Ball, Israel 1987
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