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    Posted July 4, 2008 by
    smc
    Location
    Baghdad, Iraq
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What is patriotism?

    More from smc

    1,215 servicemembers reenlist in Iraq

     

    Servicemembers from all over Iraq gathered in the Al Faw Palace rotunda at Camp Victory, Baghdad, to reenlist and celebrate Independence Day.

     

    All 1,215 servicemembers celebrated by raising their right hands and pledging to continue defending the "land of the free" in what is the largest reenlistment ceremony since the all-volunteer force began in 1973 according to Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin L. Hill, command sergeant major, Multi-National Forces - Iraq.

     

    "Volunteering to continue to serve our nation, while deployed - is both noble and inspiring," said Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Forces - Iraq. "It is, as award citations often state, in keeping with the finest traditions of our military services."

     

    Petraeus presided over the ceremony and led the airmen, Marines, sailors, and Soldiers in their oath to defend their country against all enemies both foreign and domestic on this day of celebration of America winning its independence.

     

    "We recognize the sacrifices they make and the sacrifices their families and communities make as they serve in Iraq," Hill said. "These servicemembers know the cost of war and they are still reenlisting."

     

    Accumulatively servicemembers pledged more than 5,500 years of additional service to their country.

     

    "It makes me feel proud to serve this great nation," said Spc. Zackary Cunningham, mechanic, 602nd Maintenance Battalion, Tactical Base Balad, who plans on making the Army a career.

     

    The reenlistees have every right to feel proud according to Petraeus.

     

    "You and your comrades here have been described as America's new greatest generation, and, in my view, you have more than earned that description," Petraeus said. "It is the greatest of honors to soldier here with you."

     

    (PHOTO 1 - Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Forces - Iraq, leads servicemembers in the reenlistment oath. All servicemembers understand the sacrifices that come along with raising their hands and stating an oath to defend their country and 1,215 chose to commit once again and that is most admirable, according to Petraeus.)

     

    (PHOTO 2 - Servicemembers pay tribute to all 50 states during the reenlistment ceremony and 4th of July celebration. There were 1,215 servicemembers reenlisting and all 50 states had a servicemember reenlisting at the ceremony. Photo by Marine CPL Frances L. Goch)

     

    (PHOTO 3 - Servicemembers salute the flag that they are once again pledging to protect during the reenlistment ceremony and 4th of July celebration in the Al Faw Palace rotunda in Camp Victory, Baghdad. Airmen, Marines, sailors and Soldiers dedicated more than 5,500 years of additional service at this ceremony.)

     

    (PHOTO 4 - Servicemembers raise their right hands and take the oath of enlistment during the reenlistment ceremony and 4th of July celebration in the Al Faw Palace rotunda in Camp Victory, Baghdad. Airmen, Marines, sailors and Soldiers dedicated more than 5,500 years of additional service at this ceremony.)

     

    (PHOTO 5 - Spectators gather in the balconies of Al Faw Palace at Camp Victory, Baghdad, to join in the 4th of July celebration and re-enlistment ceremony. The re-enlistees are following in the footsteps that millions of Americans before them have done for 233 years and will carry on a tradition of sacrifice, commitment, professionalism and skill said Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Forces - Iraq.)

     

    (PHOTO 6 - An Army sergeant celebrates after re-enlisting in the Al Faw Palace rotunda in Camp Victory, Baghdad, 4 July 2008. According to Command Sgt, Maj. Marvin L. Hill, command sergeant major, Multi-National Forces - Iraq, this is the largest re-enlistment ceremony since the all-volunteer force began in 1973.)

     

    by Cpl. Frances L. Goch, U.S. Marine Corps

     

    WWW.ARMY.MIL

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