By PATRICK ARMSTRONG
Editor-in-Chief, The All State
“Job well done,” was the message President Barack Obama brought to more than 2,300 soldiers from Fort Campbell, during his first visit to the Army post. Vice President Joe Biden also joined Obama on Friday, May 6, to talk to the entire Navy SEAL unit that killed 9/11 mastermind, and leader of Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden.
Both spoke with the unit in private with no media allowed. “We got to spend time with the assaulters who got bin Laden,” Biden said boastfully during the ceremony.
The SEALs were lead by Vice Adm. William McRaven, who is head of the military’s counterterrorism unit. Two-dozen SEALs raided the Pakistani compound with the same number circling overhead as backup. “They’re America’s quiet professionals because success demands secrecy,” Obama said.
The members who carried out the “historic” mission were given the Presidential Unit Citation, the most prestigious honor an entire unit can receive.
Obama and Biden also met with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment — the Night Stalkers — who flew the SEALs on their mission, and Green Berets from the 5th Special Forces Group.
During the meeting, soldiers waiting in the heat of Hangar 3 were full of energy with a quartet from the 101st Airborne Division Band playing, singing “Screaming Eagle Song” and dancing to various other songs. Of the soldiers present, 99 percent of them had served in Afghanistan.
“This has been a historic week in the life of our nation. The terrorist leader who struck our nation on 9/11 will never threaten America again,” Obama said with soldiers cheering. “This is the finest military the world has ever known. And that includes all of you, men and women of the 101st.”
Spc. Michael Chatman from the 1-33 Cavalry, said, “[The speech was] inspiring. I’m grateful for it because it shows that somebody out here’s actually saying they appreciate what we did.” Chatman has served two tours in Afghanistan, the first for six months and the second for 12.
“You guys have been in the fight from the beginning … You’ve been in some of the most hospitable terrain in the world … You’re amazing,” Biden said. “You’re the most capable warriors in the history of the world.”
Obama said in closing, “There is nothing we can’t do together 101st; when we remember who we are and that is the United States of America. When we remember that no problem is too hard and no challenge is too great. And that is why I am so confident that with your service, America’s greatest days are still to come.” TAS