honors General David Howell Petraeus. Part Two. (Note: We ran out of tape, but we have the end of his philosophical comment in text)
‘I’ll keep in mind a Cautionary tale of young schoolboy who gave a report about Julius Caesar: he was a great general, he won some important battles, he made a long speech, they killed him.” – I will try to avoid Caeser’s fate this evening.
“Addressing such eminent company in this great city with this great organization, one can almost begin to feel a little bit important- thankfully I have plenty of experiences from early days in the army to keep that impulse in check…
One episode in particular- I was fresh out of West point, a new second lieutenant, out with my new platoon for the first time, we’d a long day and we didn’t crawl into our sleeping bags until just before midnight. I’d only been asleep for an hour or so, when my platoon sergeant, a Wise old airborne veteran elbowed me and woke me up, “Sir Look up and tell me what you see.” So I looked up at a beautiful night sky and I told him, “I see a million stars, platoon sergeant” — And what does that tell you sir?” he asked. I wasn’t quite sure what he was getting at, so I thought about it for a moment and then gave an answer I thought was truly indicative of a keen intellect. “…Well (there’s) millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically it tells me that God Is great and we are but small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we’re going to enjoy a beautiful day for training tomorrow.
There was a long pause as my platoon sergeant considered this obviously weighty answer. He seemed to be speechless in fact after that impressive response.
So I finally asked him, “What does it tell you, platoon sergeant?”
“Well sir, it tells me, that’s somebody stole our tent.”
“While Americans may debate being for or against various endeavors undertaken by our government, it is heartening that virtually all our citizens agree on one political point, that we should all support those who put themselves in harms way to serve our country.”
I was privileged to serve in some tough places during my final decade in particular. —
Indeed the marines and all in military service Share the same virtues Under the most demanding of conditions, the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform, consistently display valor, creativity, initiative and resolve – and I was privileged to see those qualities up close during most of the last decade on places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thanks as I now lead another group of patriots – our country’s silent warriors, the talented and courageous officers of the CIA—
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