Listen-- Since not many others are doing it. I am, I will. I would like to commend all of the young military officers that I see day in and day out. Not the ones with stars in their eyes, but the ones who may have had to struggle a little bit , whose families were not the richest on the block financially, but the richest in values, in honor, courage, commitment. I want to commend every young Ensign, LTJG, Second and First LT, all of you especially those Americans of African descent in part. Because we are all mutts, even the light green and light blue Marines. I would like all of you to know that I admire what you stand for, that I want you to remember that you stand with the people that have made this country and others like this one possible, the strength of vision, the honor and courage of teachers, those who have enabled us to advance to where we are today. You are to stand above the mindless celebrities that gather the spotlight and return nothing, nothing at all to the remainder of us. The athletes that get paid millions of dollars and represent false idols to those that will follow in our footsteps. I want you all to stand up for all Americans, all Black Americans, because you show that the dream is alive. That you and I can compete on an equal footing without the need for counts. To see you younger brothers and sisters in that uniform means a lot, it means that we will not be doomed to become a permanent forgotten underclass, that we are an intelligent and noble people. That despite any adversity we can prevail, that you and I can think for ourselves.
More importantly for you is this; I want each and every one of you to stand up and represent to all of our younger brothers and sisters, that an education is the way up and the way out. That they can attain this without sacrificing their lives, their soul, and their family to apathy. That they, if the shoe fits, can stop crying victim and poor me and do something that they can be proud of. They can become, like you, part of a long history of folks that will be remembered. Like Jesse Leroy Brown, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall, like Benjamin O. Davis Jr & Sr. like Daniel "Chappie" James, and Frank Petersen, amongst many others, rather than the shorter history of those that will be forgotten.
Remember these things always, please;
Take care of the lives and the minds entrusted to you, somebody's mother and father was kind enough to loan you their child, most of them want them to come back.
Make no promises that you don't intend to keep.
Be true to your word.
Don't try to correct your dog or anyone else while you are angry, all dogs bite. ( I know this first hand)
God or whoever you see as your higher power (he's not the General) does love you.
Take care of yourself, make time for family, friends, even a perfect stranger, it will pay you rewards.
I appreciate and admire you folks, I served my twenty, and I appreciate all the time you are giving. Thank You for your time and your service.