12 December 2008

Gates Tells Troops in Afghanistan That "Duty" Kept Him on the Job

Greyhawk was right, the pundits were wrong. From Armed Forces Press Release:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told several hundred troops here today that a sense of duty caused him to agree to stay on in his current job through the administration change.

Gates opened the session at the headquarters for the southern regional command by joking about his recent re-appointment as defense secretary -- which at one time he was looking to avoid.

“I now have a better appreciation of what it’s like to be stop-lossed,” he joked, referring to a program that allows the Army to retain soldiers in critical specialties beyond expiration of their enlistment.

Gates said the crucial junctures of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and upcoming critical budget decisions at the Pentagon are among the reasons he chose to stay on the job. But, he said, the singular reason came down to a sense of duty.

If hundreds of thousands of young Americans are doing their duty without fail, Gates said, he had no choice but to do otherwise.

“Each of you could have done something easier, safer and probably better paid. But you chose to step forward to wear this country’s uniform,” Gates said. “You chose to volunteer -- in some cases re-volunteer -- knowing full well that a deployment to a combat theater was the most likely result.”
That's something that lifelong political operatives wouldn't understand. Clowns like Rahm Emmanuel can't even field a few tough questions from the media without whining. I'm glad we at least have some decent people in charge of the nut house in hard times like these.