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Governor Perdue Delivers Send-Off Message to Fort Benning Soldiers

Friday, January 7, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


FORT BENNING, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue today delivered the following message to soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 36th Engineer Group set to deploy to Iraq.

“Thank you, General Freakley. As Governor of Georgia, it is always an honor for me to stand before men and women such as these. I am always moved. I study your faces and look into your eyes and I see so much written there. I see pride – in your unit, in your service, in your country. I see determination – to go where you are needed and do the job you are trained to do for your country. I see courage – the courage to meet America’s enemies on the ground of our choosing, the courage to defend the freedom that is so precious to us. And, yes, I see love there too – love for family and home and country.

“As a soldier of the United State Army, you will take all of these things with you when you deploy to Iraq. But you will take much more than what is written in your own heart. From your families, from your friends, from all of us you go now to protect…with each of you goes our pride in you. Our determination to do all in our power to support you while you fight for us and to take care of your family while you’re away. And you take our love and our prayers for your safety on every step of your journey. By name and by unit, we will remember and pray for you daily.

“We’re proud of the Sledgehammer 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 75th Ranger Regiment. We’re proud of the Rugged Sea Horse 36th Engineer Group and the 988th MP Company. And I want to say to each of you that you’re part of our Georgia family. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Georgia native or came here from clear across the country. You’re here now and that makes you one of our own, from now own.

“You represent the best of what America has to offer. Your actions in the coming months will make the world better and safer. I am thankful for each and every one of you.

“So on behalf of your Georgia family, I wish you Godspeed. May the Lord bless you and keep you until we meet again.”