Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Remarks on Receiving the Red Cross Lifetime of Service Award

Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Remarks on Receiving the Red Cross Lifetime of Service Award

Article excerpt

As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, McLean, VA, November 20, 2015

Thanks, Gail, thank you so much, thank you so much. Thank you all for being here and thank you for honoring the wonderful institution it is my privilege to lead by this evening and with this event. Thank you, from me.

This organization, this wonderful thing called the Red Cross by adapting to new challenges and opportunities throughout a long, long history, you've continued to guide us all toward achieving the vision of the Red Cross. And Gail, you, above all in this era. Thank you.

At a time when we see evil strike in all to many places all over the world, and we act to defeat them, as we will, it's organizations like the American Red Cross that stand as a force for good, a reminder that America itself, a reminder of the collective people of goodwill who stand with us, in so many ways, around the world. This organization has always stood for something bigger than any one person, even any one nation. And I'm proud to stand with you.

Before I continue, I want to thank JR. This is a guy with a lot of selflessness and a determined spirit that he uses to assist others. I've known him for quite a while now; I think the time I first saw you, you were at BAMC, or what used to be called BAMC in San Antonio. And then again at the Pentagon a couple of years ago. JR, thank you. You honor us with your presence.

I also want to take a moment to congratulate Major Katelyn van Dam, who's right down there also. I say this for her in her own right, but unfortunately we all--you, JR, me--we all are ourselves, and we stand for something also. So I need to say that there are young women across America - future Marines - who are inspired by trailblazers like you.

And finally, I want to congratulate Bob and Elizabeth Dole, who were honored earlier this evening. It was my pleasure to see them in Rome last month, as they prepared to return to Castel D'Aiano, a stark place, to visit the hillside that changed Bob's life forever. Even as Bob and Elizabeth have changed America's life forever.

All you have to do is go down to the Mall where that wonderful, wonderful place that wouldn't be there if it were not for the Doles. You can walk up the street up from the American Red Cross Headquarters, ditto. It says "American Red Cross" and it stands for something that's been part of the life blood of the country for a long time and the Doles are like that. And I'm so proud be with you tonight and so honored to be in your presence.

Bob and Elizabeth have spent a lifetime making a difference for those who've served in every generation, and for their families. …

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