Friday, November 12, 2010

Afghanistan Day 174: KAIA (part 2)

11 November is the US celebrated Veterans Day.  
NMAA had a ceremony combined with a hail & farewell and banquet.


Col N's Remarks:
We pause on this Veteran's Day, 2010 to rededicate ourselves to the honor and privilege of service to our Nation.  The purpose of this day is to remind each of us of a singular truth about our profession.  In our various roles as leaders, educators, trainers, and advisors to the Afghans of NMAA we ought to take care to recall this singular truth each day...that our interactions with the Afghans has the potential to change their life.  This is a truth that carries with it some remarkable responsibility.   Our human failings in heeding it can be cause for regret but our most profound satisfaction will always spring from those positive influences we have on others.  We are all here because we love our country, we admire the commitment of our Afghan brethren trying to secure their future, and we embrace the values that require the sacrifice of our own comfort and convenience in service to our Country and its people.  It is a blessing to each of us that we have this opportunity to serve them and each other, and it is the purpose of this celebration to remind us that every interaction we have with the Afghans and with each other will have a consequence.

We commemorate the contributions of the many members of this team who have voluntarily gone into harm's way to create an Academy for Afghans with the potential to celebrate its own future anniversaries.

Today, back at West Point, my Department is opening a Hall of Honor.  The centerpiece of that room is a dedication of sacrifice of one of our cadets... LT Tim Cunningham, Class of 2006 and a Nuclear Engineering major; however, the purpose of that ceremony is not only to memorialize Tim, but it is to celebrate him as an exemplar of that singular truth to which I referred and to what Veteran's day is all about.

LT Cunningham and many other like him that paid the ultimate sacrifice remains an exemplar of the singular truth that this day remind us of:  that every interaction we have with our Afghan friends, our fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, our Turkish brethren and with each other has the potential to change someone's life-and that it is up to us to make that change for the better.

So today we celebrate that singular truth manifested in two outstanding team members that have dedicated their service to changing the lives of our team, our Afghan and Turkish brethren, and for themselves.


1 comment:

  1. I must tell you that my love and admiration for you have no boundaries. Lark, what an honor to be your mother. You fill my heart and bring tears to my eyes. Yu make a nation proud. Love, MOM