Release # 0928-07-1316Sept. 28, 2007
WASHINGTON--As my time as Chairman comes to an end, I am filled with pride in the accomplishments of the incredible men and women of our Armed Forces, and humility in having had the opportunity to serve with each of you. It has been a privilege to represent you for the past six years as the Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Please accept my sincere thanks for all you have done for our country. From full combat operations to critical relief missions, your efforts around the world have brought stability to troubled regions, hope to those in need, and honor to America’s citizens. During this challenging time in our Nation’s history, you have contributed immeasurably by defending the homeland and fighting terrorists who threaten the values we hold so dear. You stepped forward, when safer, easier options were readily available. Your actions have demonstrated a thorough understanding of risk, and the honor in being part of something bigger than yourself. Your courage and selfless service will ensure your children – and their children – will enjoy the same freedoms that all Americans have enjoyed for generations.
It takes great courage to fight a war, but it also takes great courage and patriotism to stand proudly by and allow a loved one to go into harm’s way. Our families face the enormous challenges of long deployments and frequent moves with great strength and resolve. When we are away, you hold our families together. You define us and sustain us with your quiet devotion, and untold strength. You represent all that is good and worthy of our sacrifices. No words can adequately express my gratitude for your unwavering support, but I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to those who love us, and who sacrifice so much to secure our peace.
As I look back over 40 years of service, I am grateful for the countless brave men and women in uniform who have enriched my life personally and professionally. Lynne joins me in thanking each of you for your support and inspiration!
With greatest respect and admiration,
PETER PACE General, United States Marine Corps
Chairmanof the Joint Chiefs of Staff