Commander Delivers 9/11 Message to CJTF-HOA Members
To the men and women of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa,
On this 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation, I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your dedicated, faithful service to America and our way of life. You represent less than one percent of the American population who has volunteered for uniformed service to protect our homeland and further American interests abroad. When I talk about the one percent versus the 99 percent, it is you I'm referring to, and I couldn't be prouder.
To your family, friends, and loved ones, I also want to say thank you. You have lent us your service members and shouldered more than your fair share of the burden at home. I appreciate your sacrifices and want you to know the work your loved ones are performing here with CJTF-HOA is, without doubt, helping to keep all Americans and our way of life safe.
The organization that conducted the September 11th attacks still exists. While the United States has dealt al-Qaida many major blows, their terrorist threat today remains very real. Al-Qaida and its Somalia based affiliate al-Shabaab continue to threaten the people of Somalia and to strike outside of Somalia in East Africa.
Day in and day out each of you - the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians of CJTF-HOA - contribute to strengthening the military capacity of our partner nations in East Africa to better prepare them to combat terrorism, secure their borders, promote regional peace and stability, and prevent the exportation of terrorist violence abroad. Your efforts are critical to developing long-lasting relationships with our security partners in East Africa and providing them with the skills necessary to ensure terrorist organizations fail in their efforts to take root in this strategic crossroads of the globe.
Please take a moment today to remember the victims of the September 11th attacks, but also take a moment to be proud. Be proud of the commitment, honor, and professionalism you demonstrate as part of America's all-volunteer force. Be proud of your families, friends, and loved ones eagerly anticipating your return home. But most of all, be proud of the indomitable American Spirit that drives us to make the world a safer, more prosperous, and a more peaceful place for everyone.
Thank you for your sacrifices and your service.
RALPH O. BAKER Major General, U.S. Army Commanding