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Cheney Thanks Robins AFB Troops for Terror War Support

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2005 – Vice President Dick Cheney traveled to Robins Air Force Base, Ga., today to thank the troops there personally for their contributions to the war on terror and recent national disasters around the world.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Vice President Dick Cheney thanks airmen at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 28 for their contributions to the war on terror and recent national disasters around the world. Photo by Sue Sapp
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Cheney thanked the troops for meeting their commitment to the nation during what he called "a very challenging hour in American history," helping support a long and difficult global conflict.

"The work you do here every day, around the clock, is sustaining the United States military in the war on terror," Cheney said. Thanks to that effort on the part of the Robins Air Force Base troops and their fellow servicemembers around the world, "it is a war we are going to win," he said.

"Our nation counts on our military to preserve our freedom and to defend our interests," Cheney said, noting that the troops reaffirm the country's confidence every day.

These contributions are evident around the world, Cheney said, including Iraq, which he said terrorists regard as a central front in the terror war.

"The only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon our mission," the vice president said.

The United States took too long to respond to terrorism in the past, and didn't hit back hard enough when it did respond, Cheney told the troops. "Terrorist came to believe they could strike America without paying any price," he said. Those days are gone, he said, noting that today, terrorists are getting a better appreciation of American backbone. That resolve is demonstrating itself through sweeping changes taking place in the Middle East, he said.

"The progress we have seen in Iraq has not come easily, but it has been steady, and we can be confident going forward," the vice president said. Iraqis are stepping forward and demonstrating that they value their liberty and the chance to choose their own destiny, he said.

"And by staying in this fight, we honor both the ideals and the security interests of the United States," Cheney said. Victory in Iraq will inspire democratic reformers in other lands, helping create a freer, more secure world for future generations, he said.

Cheney acknowledged that the road ahead will involve sacrifice and loss, but that the United States stands behind its men and women in uniform.

"This is not a country that takes its military for granted," he said. "We are a democracy defended by volunteers who deserve all the tools and the support we can provide."

The nation is grateful, Cheney noted. "Americans appreciate our fellow citizens who go out on long deployments and endure the hardship and separation from home and family," he said. "We care about those who have returned with injuries and we have a responsibility to help them on the hard road ahead. And our nation grieves for the brave men and women whose lives have ended in freedom's cause."

Nothing can take away the sense of loss experienced by families of the fallen, Cheney said. "We can only say with complete certainty that these Americans served in a noble and a necessary cause, and their sacrifice has made our nation and the world more secure," he said.

Today's speech was the vice president's fourth to military audiences this month. Earlier this month, he addressed Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., soldiers attending the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, and World War II veterans visiting the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.

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