Jun 15, 2006
Contact: Josh Holly (202) 225-2539
Washington, D.C. --- U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today delivered the following speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representations in support of House Resolution 861, which declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terrorism:
“A little bit more than 62 years ago, the 101st Airborne parachuted into Normandy. And a few miles away, the 4th Infantry Division was wading through bloody waters onto Utah Beach. Thousands of miles away, the 1st Marine Division was culminating a series of island operations, including Guadalcanal, Peleliu and many others, which were very dangerous, very bloody. We call them the Greatest Generation.
“Today, the 101st Airborne anchors the Sunni Triangle. The 4th Infantry Division—including many of the grandchildren of those great members of the Greatest Generation—is in Baghdad. And the 1st Marine Division is out in the very dangerous al Anbar Province in towns called Ramadi and Fallujah. I call them the new Greatest Generation.
“But there is a difference between them and their forefathers of the 101st and the 4th Infantry Division and the 1st Marine Division—and that is that the Greatest Generation of World War II had a Congress that was united behind their mission. I think we owe it to this New Greatest Generation to unite behind their mission. And not just because it is their mission and we are Congress and we oversee national security—but because we gave them the mission.
“We voted overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives to go into Afghanistan and Iraq. We, not somebody else, we gave them the mission. They have carried out that mission. They have carried it out in thousands of firefights at 10,000-foot elevations in Afghanistan; taking down safe houses in Mosul and Tikrit and Fallujah and many other areas in Iraq; winning 45,000 bronze stars for valor and meritorious service, among many other medals. And all the while taking on the enemy, they inoculated over 5 million children against diseases, re-stood up over 3,000 schools, built hundreds of hospitals, and they carried the free elections of the Afghan and Iraqi people on their shoulders. That is why we had free elections in those two countries.
“Now, when we started this thing—and if you look at the literature of al Qaeda and the terrorist organizations—they questioned the capability of the American troops. They no longer question that capability. Mr. Zarqawi [deceased leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq] did not question that capability. Saddam Hussein does not question that capability. They have been convinced of it in thousands of firefights. [Terrorists] don’t question the troops’ commitment to this mission.
“And the troops’ commitment to this mission is manifested in reenlistments rates. For the 4th ID, the 3rd ID, the 101st, the 10th Mountain Division, the 1st Marine Division, reenlistments, after multiple tours, are more than 130 percent of the requirement. They don't question the continued commitment of the President. They have seen this President go through highs and lows in the polls and continue his commitment to the mission that we launched together.
“The only question [the troops] have now is us. They question our commitment to this mission. And this resolution, Mr. Speaker, is a chance to unite this House of Representatives by restating our commitment to this mission.
“Let’s do it so that tonight, when those troops come home from their patrols and their recons and their convoys and they look at the news, they are going to say, the United States House of Representatives, they stand with us.”