The Army is no stranger to farewells, but it doesn’t make them any easier. The Army’s goodbye to the Secretary of the Army Pete Geren is no exception.Geren leaves a positive legacy and a string of innovative programs that dramatically improved our Army. He came into this position when warrior care was being scrutinized and on the verge of some of the toughest of times.
Geren was in the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001 when terrorists flew a plane full of people into the building. “That day, I watched Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go to the sound of the explosion,” he said. “And for eight years, I’ve watched them go off to war – I’ve watched many of you go off to war. And I have watched your families stand by you. I have been inspired by your service and humbled by your sacrifice.”
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren has placed Soldiers and Army families in the front position throughout his career and continued to do so even at his farewell.
At a small farewell ceremony at the Pentagon, he read a poem intended to remind those in attendance ofwho has given us our most fundamental gifts. The Soldier.
It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier,
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag
By: Charles M. Province
Please take the time to bid your farewell to Secretary of the Army Pete Geren by sharing your comments.
Check out the rest of Secretary Geren’s farewell interview series with Soldiers Radio and Television at www.youtube.com/soldiersmediacenter.