This editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:
Gen. Ray Odierno could have talked about anything he chose at his retirement ceremony last week. It was, after all, his final few minutes as the big boss, the Army chief of staff. But instead of addressing the global issues facing the Army in the 21st century, he kept his comments close to home. He talked about his wife – and the thousands of other military spouses who may be more essential to the Army’s mission than many of the officers at the Pentagon.
“She sacrificed her entire life for me,” Odierno said. “I can never repay her for that.”
He went on: “It’s often hard for me to stand up here and make other people understand how much our spouses sacrifice. You don’t understand. You don’t understand everything that they do every day in order to make us a better Army. I don’t believe there’s any other profession where we count on our spouses to do so many things.”
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He talked about the more than 500 memorial services Linda Odierno attended, and the things she did for families and wounded warriors while he was deployed.
“I can never repay you, honey. I love you with all my heart, and you’ve made me a better man,” he said.
What he said needs to be on a wall at the Pentagon, and on every post commander’s desk. It’s that important.
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