By Secretary of the Army John McHughJanuary 27, 2010
"You've heard all about these programs and there's not a lot I can add. But let me tell you - for those of us who have the honor of working in support of those brave men and women who don the uniform of the United States Army - we view the defense of our Nation as a partnership.
"We happen to think that the Army does an amazing job in and of itself going out and doing the hard work of freedom, but we recognize as well that to be truly successful it takes the support of the Nation, the support of its people, right down to great places like San Antonio and the support of its communities.
"One of the most important things we have are partners, partners who understand the grand opportunity and the responsibility of supporting those outstanding men and women who when duty calls, when we ask, "who shall serve'" they step forward and say, "I will."
"Just one percent of our Nation's people are citizens who come forward and join that all-volunteer (inaudible) service. And we have a duty in return to that, and I know you understand that, and that's why you're here.
"They deserve the very best that our Nation can offer: the best training, the best equipment, the best opportunities, the best benefits and that's why we're gathered at this moment to recognize two such benefits: the PaYs program, the EPO program.
"The Partnership for Youth success, the Employer Partnership Initiative -those kinds of programs that serve as recruiting incentives-yeah, but they answer one of the most important questions any young man or women asks him or herself when they are signing on that dotted line: "After my enlistment's over, what do I do' What happens'"
"And through these initiatives, Soldiers are provided a better opportunity, an assurance, a piece of mind to know that when their service days have come to the end, they have a guarantee interview opportunity, they have a partnership as in the Reserve program through EPO, to partner and build a career both on the military side and in the civilian side, to meet their career goals and it makes them better Soldiers. And better Soldiers make for a more secure nation and a more secure world.
"You've heard today AT&T's partnership represents the 350th PaYs agreement and Textron's support of the ROTC PaYs Program, (uh excuse me,) Textron joins more than 800 corporate and public participants nationwide who have been part of the (employee) Employment Partnership Initiative.
"We want to thank these two companies. They are standing tall amongst the cadre of very responsible firms who understand that the responsibilities of citizenship extends to corporations. That the benefits that our great men and women in uniform have been earning for this Nation and for nations across this planet for more than 230 years don't come easily and take all of our support.
"The outcomes that we've had and the successes we enjoy as a Nation, the lives that breath free to the tune of hundreds of millions across this planet, on virtually every continent, come about from those sacrifices but also with the support of great partners like Textron and AT&T, who understand how special these Soldiers and their families are. Without them, we couldn't do what we need to do for those heroes - true heroes - who sacrifice so much for us.
"So, I'm honored to be here today, to be part of this great weekend, to thank this tremendous community for their support, and to say how much we appreciate these two very special partners in a very special initiative.
"Thank you, Climb to Glory, God Bless America."