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Release No: 135-96
March 14, 1996


President Bill Clinton; Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dr. John White; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Shalikashvili and a host of other distinguished guests will honor soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen for their outstanding service while deployed to Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy during a ceremony at Fort Polk, La. on Monday, March 18.

More than 240 representatives from all U.S. Military services will be recognized in an 11 a.m. ceremony at Honor Field.

Operation Uphold Democracy, the U.S.-led, multinational effort to restore the legitimate government of Haiti, created a safe and secure environment in the Caribbean nation and assisted in the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti. This operation was conducted under the operational control of the United States Atlantic Command, headquartered in Norfolk, Va.

Beginning on September 19, 1994, more than 20,000 American service men and women from all five services in conjunction with about 5,000 non-U.S. forces from 24 nations, served as part of the Multinational Force and later the United Nations Mission in Haiti. The Multinational Force transferred command to the United Nations Mission in Haiti on March 31, 1995.

The ceremony will officially credit U.S. service members for successfully ensuring the first Haitian transition of power between two democratically elected presidents and providing a safe and secure environment in the midst of a historically violent and unstable environment.

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