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Joint Chiefs Chairman Encourages Civic Leaders to Support Veterans

By Melinda L. Larson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2007 – On the eve of Veterans Day weekend, the nation’s senior military commander told civic leaders here they can make a difference in the lives of men and women who serve their country.

“As leaders, we must look in every possible direction to broadly capture the spirit of America in ensuring that (veterans’) service is recognized by providing opportunities for them, providing the kind of health care for them, the kind of support for them and their families that truly will make a difference in their lives for the rest of their lives,” Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday evening during a speech to the University Club of Washington D.C.

Noting there are innumerable organizations throughout the country that want to help the nation’s warriors, Mullen said he hopes to ensure servicemembers who make sacrifices for their country know how to access valuable resources in their communities.

“What they sacrifice means so much to all of us,” said Mullen, who was sworn in as the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Oct. 1. “You represent a significant number of people in America tonight who can reach out and make a difference in their lives.”

Not only was the chairman supportive of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who serve the nation, he also praised their families.

“The support that our families have given those who have served since 9/11 has jumped off the page to me in ways that I had not previously recognized before,” Mullen said. “Without them we could not possibly carry out the missions we have. We should never forget the sacrifices, the service of their families who make it possible for all of us who serve on active duty and who have served in the past to make a difference.”

In honor of the weekend dedicated to the nation’s veterans, Mullen spoke for all who serve in the military today by thanking the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have served in the United States military.

“All of us who wear the cloth of our nation are indebted to you, and we think about your service all the time. We want to make sure that we honor that service in our service. We will never forget that service,” he concluded.

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Adm. Michael G. Mullen, USN

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