For Immediate Release: Office of the Vice President October 28, 2005
Vice President's Remarks at a Rally for the Troops
Robins Air Force Base,
2:36 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) That's not bad. (Laughter.) Well, thank you very much, General Collings. And let me thank you for your introduction, and let me thank all of you for that warm welcome.
I'm delighted to be here today, and to spend time with the men and women of the Robins Air Force Base -- a great event, though I'm guessing it was a little more exciting when Jessica Simpson and the Dukes of Hazzard came to visit. (Laughter.) Control yourselves. (Laughter.)
Let me thank Congressmen Westmoreland and
You've got a great group of people here. You carry out your mission with uncompromising standards of quality. And you've built a record of tremendous results all across the board.
The jobs we've assigned to this base are large and complex. The nation looks to all of you to keep the Air Force flying, to move supplies and people in theaters of operation, to support and maintain the jets flying CAP for homeland security, and to provide combat communications across great distances. The work you do here -- every day and around the clock -- is sustaining the
Military service, whether active or reserve, requires a family commitment, and I'm delighted to see family members have joined us today. All of our military families make many sacrifices, here at Robins and in communities all across the country. And I want all of you to know that you have the respect of your fellow citizens, and the gratitude of your Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush. (Applause.)
Let me also thank the good people who live throughout
Each time I visit a military installation I come away with renewed confidence in the men and women who wear the uniform of the
Some challenges have arisen close to home, as we have seen recently after the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. I want to thank those who have provided hurricane relief support including members of the Air Force Reserve, the 78th Civil Engineers Group (applause); the Fifth Combat Communications Group (applause); and 116th Air Control Wing of the Georgia National Guard. (Applause.)
These units have been skillful and swift in a time of need for fellow citizens, and you have our gratitude.
The people of
Our nation counts on our military to preserve our freedom and to defend our interests. And in this young century you are repaying that confidence every day that we fight the war on terror. When this conflict began on a terrible September morning four years ago, President Bush said that struggle would be lengthy and difficult, would require our best effort and unfailing resolve. It is tough and it is dangerous to fight enemies who dwell in the shadows, who target the innocent, and who plot destruction on a massive scale. And in this fight some of the most urgent and difficult duties come to the men and women of our armed forces.
In the four years since our nation was attacked and we lost 3,000 of our fellow citizens, members of our military have been deployed on many fronts in the war on terror, from the Horn of Africa to the broader Middle East. In this period, units based at Robins have deployed more than 31,000 personnel; airlifted 5,000 tons of cargo; and played a key role in keeping thousands of American aircraft flying. (Applause.)
Time and again, on every measure of performance, the Warner Robins ALC has been absolutely superb. You've adapted quickly to changing circumstances, and won awards for excellence. Our entire military counts on you, and you can be very proud of the job you've done.
I also want to express the nation's appreciation for the other vital units based here at Robins. We're grateful to the Black Knights of the 19th Air Refueling Group, which is a constant presence in all over the world. (Applause.)
And as I mentioned, of course, we're grateful to the Fifth Combat Communications Group conducting operations worldwide, from the
We're grateful to the 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron -- which recently completed a deployment in
We're grateful to the 78th Security Forces Squadron, recently deployed to
All of you are part of a team that continues to make history -- removing threats to the United Nations -- to the United States and other free nations, and bringing new hope to a troubled region of the world. As a member of the
There's still difficult work ahead, because the terrorists regard
Although we've been in the struggle against terrorism for four years now, the terrorists were actually at war with us long before 2001. But for a long time, they were the ones on the offensive. And they grew bolder in their belief that if they killed Americans, they could change American policy. And they did. In
And so they continued to wage those attacks -- making the world less safe and, of course, eventually striking us right here at home on 9/11. Now they're making a stand in
The progress we've seen in
In the broader Middle East and beyond,
And as the peoples of that region experience new hope and control over their own destiny, we will see the power of freedom to change our world, and a terrible threat will be removed from the lives of our children and our grandchildren.
Each one of you is helping to write a proud chapter in the history of freedom. At times you may wonder if your fellow citizens truly realize the extent of your achievements, and how hard you're working and how urgent and dangerous your business can be, how it feels to put in 12-hour shifts in desert temperatures. I want you to know that Americans do realize it, and they're very grateful. (Applause.)
This is not a country that takes its military for granted. We are a democracy, defended by volunteers who deserve all the tools and the support we can provide. Americans appreciate our fellow citizens who go out on long deployments and endure the hardship of separation from home and family. We care about those who have returned with injuries, and we have a responsibility to help on the hard road ahead. And our nation grieves for the brave men and women whose lives have ended in freedom's cause. No one can take away the sorrow that has come to the families of the fallen. We can only say with complete certainty that these Americans served in a noble and a necessary cause, and their sacrifice has made our nation and the world more secure. We will honor their memory forever. (Applause.)
None of us can know every turn that lies ahead for
You, the men and women of Robins Air Force Base, have met every challenge with focus, with great effectiveness, and, above all, with honor. You have brought credit to yourselves and to the nation. Your Commander-in-Chief and your fellow citizens are very proud of you, and it is my great honor to bring that message to you today. Thank you for what you've done for all of us. (Applause.)
END 2:55 P.M. EDT
Cheney - Vice President Richard Cheney