Defense Secretary Mattis loves the troops and the feeling is obviously mutual. Speaking to the troops somewhere on his current tour to Jordan, Turkey and Ukraine, he spoke to them from the heart about their mission as well as the home front (video below):
Here is the text of his remarks via The Daily Wire:
Believe me, I know you’re far from home, every one of you; I know you could all be going to college, you young people, or you could be back on the block, just grateful. The only way, the only way this great big experiment you and I call America is gonna survive is if we’ve got tough hombres like you.
If you remember — some of you are too young — on 9/11 we were matched up against an enemy that thought if you hurt us you can scare us. We don’t frickin’ scare; that’s the bottom line.
We’ll go out here; we’ll fight alongside our friends and allies, and we’re gonna keep right on fightin’ until they’re sick of us, leave us alone.
You’re buyin’ time; you’re a great example for our country right now. It’s got some problems; you know it and I know it. It’s got problems that we don’t have in the military.
You just hold the line, my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines. You just hold the line until our country gets back to understandin’ and respectin’ each other and showin’ it, of being friendly to one another, that Americans owe to one another. We’re so doggone lucky to be Americans.
We got two powers: the power of inspiration, and you’ll get the power of inspiration back; you have the power of intimidation, and that’s you, if someone wants to screw with our families, and our country, or our allies.
So thanks so much for being out here; you completely took me by surprise. That’s good; keep the old guys like me guessing. The only reason I came back, I flunked retirement, okay? The only reason I came back was to serve alongside young people like you who are so selfless, and frankly, so rambunctious. It’s a pleasure to be around you all.
You take care of each other out here, okay? We call ‘em in the Naval, “you take care of your shipmates out here”, okay? Take care of each other. It can get old, it can get hot; you can get sloppy, you can get complacent; don’t let it happen, okay.
Thank all of you. Listen to your NCOs, okay?
According to Jared Keller writing at Task & Purpose, Mattis’s remarks were delivered in Jordan on August 23. At New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, Benjamin Hart explains: “Footage of the remarks was first flagged by Defense One’s Kevin Baron. It was posted to a Facebook page called ‘U.S. Army W.T.F. Moments.’”