Gates Salutes Sailors, Marines at Afghanistan Base
By Marine Corps Cpl. Shannon McMillan
1st Marine Logistics Group
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Dec. 8, 2010 Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates today visited with servicemembers assigned to the 1st Marine Logistics Group here.
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates addresses more than 200 sailors and Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Dec. 8, 2010. Gates applauded the troops for their accomplishments and dedication. He shook hands with each servicemember and thanked them for their service. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shannon McMillan
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Gates praised the Marines’ and sailors’ accomplishments and thanked them for their service to the nation.
“I just want to underscore how much I thank you and how much the American people support what you are doing here … how much they care about you and about your families,” he said.
“You all have volunteered in a time of war, and we know this is a tough fight.”
Gates said the servicemembers’ hard work supports the ongoing counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan.
Their provision of supplies, maintenance, construction, and other logistical support to warfighters gives them the means to win the battle against insurgents, Gates said.
Afterward, Gates shook hands with nearly 200 troops and handed each a secretary of defense coin while thanking them for their service.
The Marines and sailors in attendance were appreciative of Gates’ visit.
“I think it is awesome that he took the time to take pictures with the Marines and sailors,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Derrick Christovale, the sergeant major of Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG.
“I feel honored to have received the coin personally from the [secretary of defense] himself,” added Marine Corps Sgt. Alejandro Montoyamunoz, noncommissioned officer in charge of Disbursing, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG.