REMARKS AS PREPARED
142nd Fighter Wing Mobilization
June 26, 2015
Good Afternoon. Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of such a meaningful occasion.
To the men and women of the 142nd Fighter Wing, it is my great honor as your Commander-in-Chief, to be here today as you prepare to deploy on this important mission.
As I stand here today, I speak for all Oregonians when I say THANK YOU for representing our great State. We are proud to know that you will do so with distinction, as you have in the past.
While we await your safe return, we will follow your tour from afar through media stories, video, your letters and calls.
As a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, I know that you will be working alongside our NATO allies, and will embody the commitment of the United States to the security and stability of Europe. The dedication to enduring peace in Europe is important to us all, and I thank you for your willingness to participate in such a vital mission.
You represent the 142nd’s largest deployment as part of a strategy to ensure a strong presence of NATO allies in the region. You will support and build new and deeper partnerships across the continent. Your presence will also reassure our allies of our commitment to peace and security.
Throughout your mission, you will rely on your training, your fellow soldiers, and most of all your honor, commitment and love of country. You are answering the nation’s call and serving your country in extraordinary ways.
The sacrifices you make while away from your civilian lives and loved ones are valued and appreciated by all of the citizens of Oregon.
For the employers here to see your employees off, thank you for your continuing support of the National Guard—I know it is not easy to go without a great employee, even on a temporary basis, and I appreciate your flexibility in allowing these individuals to fulfil their obligations.
I realize this deployment is not just about the unit members personal sacrifices, significant though they are, but also the sacrifices that your families and loved ones will face without you here. As I look out at the faces of your families, I can see that they are up to the challenge of holding down the home front while you are away, and they will have the support of each other and everyone in this room here today.
As your Commander-in-Chief, I have tremendous confidence in your abilities, but I recognize the void this leaves for the Oregon Military Department members still here. We are all glad to know, though, that the people of Europe will benefit from your support.
As difficult as the deployment may be, I hope that the continued friendships and connections with your fellow soldiers while you are away will help see you through the hard times. Please be there for each other as you are here at home.
The determination and commitment of the 142nd Fighter Wing reminds us of what makes us so proud to be Oregonians.
On behalf of a grateful state and nation: thank you for your service.
God bless you, God bless your Families, and Godspeed.