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January 20, 2005
Message from MGen Natonski
Here's a New Year message from the Commanding General of 1st Marine Division:
January 14, 2005
The Division continues to be very busy in the new year. The city of Fallujah is now completely open to residents. Members of the Division are working in conjunction with Iraqi officials to process returning Fallujah citizens and ensure that they have life’s basic necessities such as food, water, and blankets, if required. We are also assisting the Iraqi government in restoring municipal services and repairing battle damage. The Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Division are proving that their compassion is as great as their ferocity in combat.
Our current focus of effort is to ensure that all Iraqis in the Al Anbar Province have the opportunity to vote in a safe and secure environment. The elections are critical to the future of Iraq and our role is to assist the Iraqi Government and Security Forces help those Iraqis who wish to exercise their basic right to vote in the upcoming election. This is a right that we as Americans take for granted. We are taking this task very seriously as we all recognize the importance of our mission.
I know all of you are eagerly anticipating the homecoming of your loved one. We have already begun the process of bringing in forces to relieve elements of the Division. Our planners are working hard to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible and that we bring our units home in an expeditious and safe manner. This will be the largest relief in place in combat in Marine Corps history and I am confident that the Division will execute this operation with the same professionalism and competence that we have exhibited in all our previous endeavors.
We wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of those who sacrificed the greatest for our mission. We think of them daily and will especially remember them as we anticipate our reunions with our families and friends.
I want to wish you all a very “Happy New Year”. I pray that 2005 will bring you many joys with the return of your loved ones and may God continue to provide His blessings to the 1st Marine Division family.
Posted by Deb at January 20, 2005 12:03 AM
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