President Lauds Troops, Families in Weekly Address
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 1, 2012 A day after carrying his message of gratitude to soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas, President Barack Obama today commended service members and their families in his weekly address to the nation.
“Fort Bliss is home to soldiers who took part in every major phase of the Iraq War – from the initial assault on Baghdad; to the years of fighting block by block; to the partnership with the Iraqi people that helped give them a chance to forge their own destiny,” Obama said.
The president acknowledged varied perspectives of that war, but noted one constant.
“The members of our armed forces are patriots in every sense of the word,” he said, noting that work remains to be done in Afghanistan as the transition continues toward Afghan security control throughout the country.
“Next month, the last of the troops I ordered as part of the surge against the Taliban will come home, and by 2014, the transition to Afghan lead will be complete,” the president said. But as long as Americans are in harm’s way, he added, the United States will continue to do everything in its power to keep them safe and help them succeed.
“That means giving them a clear mission and the equipment they need on the front lines,” he said. “But it also means taking care of our veterans and their families, because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.”
The president noted he also told troops at Fort Bliss that part of honoring their service means strengthening the nation they fought to protect by welcoming veterans into the civilian workforce.
“As we turn the page on a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home,” Obama said. “Today’s veterans have the skills, the discipline, and the leadership skills to do the exact same thing -- and it’s our job to give them that chance.”