Today’s Troops, Families Best Ever, Chairman Says
By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 25, 2009 As the nation prepares to enjoy its Memorial Day holiday, the military’s top officer asked that U.S. troops and families be remembered for their sacrifices.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made appearances this morning on the major network morning shows broadcasting from the Pentagon.
Mullen called today’s fighting force and its families the best he’s ever been associated with.
“I've been wearing the uniform for over 41 years. This is the best military we've ever had, and they are making a big difference in these two wars that we're fighting,” he said. “And we're in our eighth year of war, our sixth year of fighting two wars simultaneously, and they've just been incredible.”
The holiday serves as the unofficial start of summer with many community pools opening for the weekend. Many enjoy the typical three-day weekend boating, cooking out and in other outdoor recreational activities.
But Mullen asked that the nation take pause to remember the sacrifices of the troops and families, and to renew its commitment to supporting those in their communities who are serving.
“Today’s a day we need to remember their sacrifice -- those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as the families of the fallen,” Mullen said.
Nearly 5,000 troops have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since they began, Mullen said. More than 36,000 troops have been injured.
“We’ve got some 240,000 young men and women of the United States deployed around the world today … and many of them in harms way who we really need to take pause and remember their sacrifice,” the chairman said.
“They represent the best of America. They’re the best young people I have ever been associated with and they really do make a difference,” Mullen said.