“I am a Soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight”. General George S. Patton Jr.

Army birthday celebrations began somberly in the nation’s capital with a wreath laying at the tomb of the Continental Army’s first general, Alexandria, Va.

Surrounded by several hundred visitors at the Mount Vernon estate of George and Martha Washington, Secretary of the Army John McHugh placed a wreath at the crypt of America’s first president. The event marked the start of a week of festivities surrounding the Army’s 238th birthday, which is officially June 14, 2013.

Following the playing of Taps, McHugh, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler, and Ann Bookout, the 20th regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, gathered in the estate auditorium to present Purple Hearts to wounded Soldiers Sgt. Sean P. Karpf, Spc. Arael Lopez and Pfc. Cory A. Doane.

Bookout opened the ceremony remarking that there was no better place for the Army to open its 238th birthday than at the home of the country’s first commander-in-chief.

“Not only was George Washington first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was the first military official to recognize Soldiers who served and sacrificed for what we now call the Purple Heart,” she said.

Unlike European armies at the time which only awarded medals to officers, Washington was the first to acknowledge that courage and commitment were qualities which should be recognized and celebrated regardless of rank, Bookout noted.

The Soldier’s Creed
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior an a member of a team.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

For those of you who are able, hoist a few in memory of our fallen comrades and those yet to return from Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, or wherever they are deployed.

Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago, the United States Army was established to fight and win our nation’s wars.
Since 1775, Still the best!



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