By Marine Corps Cpl. Shannon McMillan
1st Marine Logistics Group
Gates praised the Marines’ and sailors’ accomplishments and thanked them for their service to the nation.
“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,” he said.
“You all have volunteered in a time of war, and we know this is a tough fight.”
Gates said the servicemembers’ hard work supports the ongoing counterinsurgency mission in
Their provision of supplies, maintenance, construction, and other logistical support to warfighters gives them the means to win the battle against insurgents, Gates said.
Afterward, Gates shook hands with nearly 200 troops and handed each a secretary of defense 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 Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Derrick Christovale, the sergeant major of Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG.
“I feel honored to have received the coin personally from the [secretary of defense] himself,” added Marine Corps Sgt. Alejandro Montoyamunoz, noncommissioned officer in charge of Disbursing, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG.