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Pace Thanks Troops, Families in Independence Day Interviews

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 4, 2006 –

As the nation observes its 230th birthday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff took to the airwaves today to thank the men and women of the armed forces and their families for their service.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
U.S. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanks servicemembers and their families for their commitment to the nation during a live television broadcast on July 4, 2006 at the Pentagon. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen

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

Marine Gen. Peter Pace noted on NBC's "Today" program that Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multinational Force Iraq, had observed the holiday by presiding at a citizenship ceremony for 110 U.S. servicemembers.

"You know, we've got almost 200,000 folks in the Gulf right now making it possible for us to celebrate today, and it's proper for us to just pause for a second to say thanks to them, especially the 110 soldiers today wearing the U.S. uniform who George Casey swore in as brand new citizens," Pace told Ann Curry. "I think that says a lot about who they are and about this country. So we thank them, and we certainly thank all the families who are serving this country, as well as anybody who ever wore the uniform, by waiting patiently at home here for those whom they love to rejoin them. We wish them a very happy Fourth of July."

Pace, who always makes it a point to include servicemembers' families when expressing appreciation to the nation's military members, underscored that sentiment in an interview with Harry Smith on CBS's "Early Show."

"We have 2.4 million Americans in active, Guard and Reserve (service)," Pace said. "Their families who wait for them to come home serve this country as well as anyone who's ever worn the uniform."

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Gen. Peter Pace, USMC

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