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Secretary of Defense Robert Gates addresses more than 200 service members with 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Dec. 8. During Gates’ visit, he applauded the troops for their accomplishments and dedication. He shook hands with each service member, thanking them for their service.

Photo by Cpl. Shannon E. McMillan

Secretary of Defense reconfirms Marines’ success in Afghanistan

9 Dec 2010 | Cpl. Shannon McMillan

United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited service members of 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Dec. 8.

During Gates’ visit, he lauded the troops’ accomplishments and dedication to their country.

“You all have volunteered in a time of war, and we know this is a tough fight,” said Gates.

Gates further explained how the service members’ hard work supports the ongoing counterinsurgency mission.

By supporting combat forces with logistics, maintenance, road improvement, power and supplies, it allows the armed forces to be equipped in order to fight, said Gates.

Gates expressed his utmost gratitude to the men and women of 1st MLG (FWD) for their service.

“I just want to underscore how much I thank you and how much the American people support what you are doing here … how much they care about you and about your families,” said Gates.

As Gates finished his words of encouragement, he shook hands with nearly 200 troops and handed each individual a coin while thanking them for their service.

The Marines and sailors in attendance were appreciative of Gates’ visit.

“I think it is awesome that he took the time to take pictures with the Marines and sailors,” said Sgt. Maj. Derrick Christovale, sergeant major of Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG (FWD).

“I feel honored to have received the coin personally from the [Secretary of Defense] himself,” added Sgt. Alejandro Montoyamunoz, non-commissioned officer in charge of Disbursing, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG (FWD).