Senior military official pays homage to 26th MEU (SOC)

30 May 2002 | Sgt Thomas Michael Corcoran

The country's top "warfighter," Air Force General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, paid a visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C., to congratulate the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) on their successful deployment to Afghanistan.

General Myers said that although many were skeptical of the "large order," the moderately sized unit had to fill, the MEU used all their assets and "adapted and overcame" all challenges along the way.

"It's a great honor," said Master Sgt. Bruce E. Lamb, the MEU's communications chief.  "It absolutely helps morale when someone that high in the chain of command takes time out of their schedule to come and give thanks to these young Marines."

Many of the younger Marines were surprised to see General Myers seated at a table eating chow with them.  Many felt honored they had a chance to speak and shake hands with the senior military member.

Sergeant Wade Reilly, India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/6, squad leader, said that he appreciated the "pat on the back" the MEU received when they returned.  However, "to hear it from someone at the top is a reminder that the little people aren't forgotten."

"I think it's my obligation to be here," said General Myers to his audience of Marines and Sailors.  "This is a new type of war that you may not see the end of even if you reenlist.  But the American people expect us to carry through with [our plan to eradicate terrorism]."