Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Defense Secretary Gates Cares

I just read something that really reminded me why I was so happy to hear that former Texas A&M President Dr. Robert Gates was named to be our Defense Secretary a year and a half ago:

Gates chokes up among cadets

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates' voice cracked with emotion Monday night as he wrapped up a lesson to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates thanked Army cadets at West Point, New York, for enrolling.

Gates delivered a lengthy lecture about the complexities of war, underscoring the responsibility of junior officers to challenge their superiors even if it put their careers at risk. A tape of the talk was released by the Department of Defense's Pentagon Channel.

"I encourage you to take on the mantle of fearless, thoughtful, but loyal dissent when the situation calls for it," he urged.

At the end of his talk, the Pentagon chief paused to thank the cadets for their decision to attend the academy in West Point, New York, despite what he said was "the knowledge of almost certain deployment to a distant and dangerous battlefield."

Gates appeared near tears as he choked out the words, "I feel personally responsible for each and every one of you, as if you were my own sons and daughters."

He paused again, composed himself, and continued, "So my only prayer is that you serve with honor and return home safely. And I personally thank you. Good luck and Godspeed."

It is no wonder that this was the guy that President Bush (the Father) picked to be the head of the CIA and is a personal friend of his. This guy really cares about everyone who serves under him and understands the responsibility that he has to ensure that every person in the military be given the best chance to succeed no matter the consequence.

I had the distinct honor of listening to Secretary Gates speak at a gathering on Capitol Hill last summer and was surprised at his sincerity and genuine nature. It will be a travesty that he only will have had two years to fix the mess that Donald Rumsfeld created at the Pentagon when he is ousted to make way for the next Administration.

In his tears and emotion he has shown us not weakness of heart but the strength of responsibility, honor, service, and heart. Proud Americans everywhere salute you Secretary Gates, Thank you for your service.

CNN Link: Here

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