Gov. Rick Perry’s Remarks At III Corps Deployment Casing Ceremony
I am honored to be with the finest fighting force on the face of the earth: The members of the United States Military. With this day marking the first overseas deployment of the III Corps headquarters flag since World War II, I am reminded of the great history of the “Phantom Corps.” Dating back to the battlefields of World War I – where III Corps was formed – to the many operations of the latter-half of the 20th Century, the men and women of III Corps have fought valiantly, served honorably, and stood tall for freedom.
Of course, it was a March day in 1945 when the world learned of the special soldiers of the Phantom Corps, as the members of the 9th Armored Division engaged in a daring mission and miraculously captured the bridge at Remagan – an historic accomplishment that gave Allied Forces a toehold east of the Rhine River, and accelerated the drive into the heart of Germany.
Today you embark on another historic mission. As you go forth, you can do so with clarity of conscience and strength of conviction because you are serving a great cause: To make the world free of tyranny, free of terror. The world is a safer place for the courage, bravery and sacrifices of the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform.
In the last two years, the American Armed Forces and our allies have liberated Afghanistan from Taliban rule, captured hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists, freed Iraq from a brutal dictator and dragged Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole. And when that tyrant emerged from his hiding place, I am proud to say it was Fort Hood’s 4th I.D. that passed along the president’s greetings. At the same time, our victories have come at a great cost – a cost borne in lives lost and dreams vanquished. Hundreds of your fellow servicemen and women offered the ultimate sacrifice, giving up their future so millions of others could once again believe in the future. We hope and pray that none of you will be called to do the same; that God will keep you safe and out of harm’s way; and that you will return home to the loving arms of your families after performing your duty with great pride and professionalism.
As President Bush has stated, freedom is God’s gift to mankind. As members of the United States Military, you are the protectors of that gift. Yours’ is the highest of callings – a duty upon which the freedom of billions depends, a duty you do well.
Today we are keenly aware that the mission must go on. The War on Terror must go forward. And leading the way will be none other than the most modernized force in our military - III Corps. Be safe. Be strong, and return home soon. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.
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