Photo: Secretary of defence
Today a the last Department of defence press briefing before the Fourth of July, defence Secretary Leon Panetta opened up to the press.
He gave a deep answer to a personal question.
One journalist asked a somewhat personal question of the Secretary: what were his interactions with soldiers gravely wounded in a war where winning outright no longer seems the goal?
Panetta was visibly emotional when discussing his repeated trips to hospitals to speak with the severely wounded, and was surprised with what he learned.
“Most of them want to go back,” he said.
Panetta talked about going to both Hospitals and the centre for the Intrepid rehabilitation centre
“You cannot help but be inspired by the spirit they have to fight on,” the defence Secretary said. “They’ve got incredible wounds as a result from the IEDs and yet they have a smile on their face and their going to fight on.”
He was taken aback by both the medical advances and the wounded troops’ ability to a recover from devastating wounds. “Miracles are being produced each day with regards to these kids,” he said.
The troops also gave Panetta encouragement with how the war is going for the soldiers on the ground, a frequent question on the Secretary’s mind. “They thought they were doing well,” he said “They felt very good about the mission they were involved with with.”
“I’m getting very good reports about what they were able to achieve.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey stressed that the military leadership understood that the civilian population puts immense trust in them to take care of the troops.
When Panetta and Dempsey left, the Secretary finished by wishing all the present a happy Fourth.
Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is addressing the media right now: Check it out
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