WASHINGTON, April 25, 2017 — Vice President Mike Pence expressed his gratitude to U.S. Pacific Command yesterday for its resolute leadership and thanked the troops at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu for their service.
Pence stopped in Hawaii at the end of a 10-day trip to Asia that included stops in South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.
The vice president said President Donald J. Trump asked him to come by “to tell you how grateful we all are for your service. And as he said to me, ‘Just tell them I’m proud of them.’ And I promise all of you, the American people are proud of every man and woman in this room. Thank you for serving your country.”
Rebuilding the Military
Pence said that though he did not serve in the armed forces, “I am the son of a soldier — a combat veteran who served in the Korean War. And I’m the proud father of a United States Marine.
“And so I stand before you today deeply humbled,” he continued, “because I really speak on behalf of the hundreds of millions of Americans, who each and every day benefit by the services and the sacrifices that you and your families make on our behalf.”
Pence assured the audience that in the days that lie ahead and in uncertain times, the people who serve in Pacom will know their commander-in-chief is a president who is going to fight to rebuild the U.S. military and restore the arsenal of democracy.
“And we’re going to give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources you need to accomplish your mission for the American people. We’re going to do it,” Pence said to applause.
Large-Scale Spending Bill
“There’s a spending bill that’s being considered as we speak. The president is working even in what remains of this budget year to begin to supplement our military spending. The president truly believes that the time has come for us to rebuild this military,” the vice president said.
The budget submitted by the president had the largest single-year increase in military spending since the days of the Reagan administration, he noted.
“It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve as vice president to a president who cares so deeply about the men and women of our armed forces, their families, and our veterans,” Pence said.
Best Friend to Troops
“And I know in my heart President Donald Trump is going to be the best friend the American armed forces have ever had in the White House. With that said, let me close by simply thanking you. Thanking you from the bottom of my heart for being willing to step forward and volunteer to wear the uniform of the United States of America.”
Pence said it is going to be to each service member’s credit that they responded to the call of their country.
“The American people are grateful every day for those who serve around the globe — whether it be the U.S. Pacific Command or in far-flung places in the world, oftentimes separated for months at a time from your families, I want you to know that as you go, you go with our gratitude,” the vice president said.