April 8, 2013 - Issue: Vol. 159, No. 45 — Daily Edition113th Congress (2013 - 2014) - 1st Session
RETIREMENT OF GENERAL JOHN ALLEN; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 45
(Senate - April 08, 2013)
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[Pages S2452-S2453] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RETIREMENT OF GENERAL JOHN ALLEN Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, today I honor an exceptional warrior. After a lifetime of service to our Nation, Gen. John R. Allen is retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps. On this occasion I believe it is fitting to recognize General Allen's years of uniformed service to our Nation. The general was commissioned a second lieutenant following graduation from the Naval Academy with the class of 1976. He has led at every level from platoon to theater command, including being the first Marine Commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy. He spent 2 years in Iraq's Anbar province, where he led an effort to reach out to Sunni tribal leaders to try to persuade them to stand against al-Qaida militants--a shift that helped turn the course of the war in western Iraq. And during his recent command in Afghanistan, which he proclaimed to be ``the honor of a lifetime,'' he spent 19 months winding down America's longest war while strengthening Afghanistan's military to fight insurgency. General Allen's record of service is remarkable and highly decorated. He has distinguished himself in every aspect from graduating with academic honors to receiving some of the highest military awards of the U.S. and foreign armed forces. However, he recognizes the most important distinction, and that is his family. In the last decade he has spent plenty of time away from his family in service to our Nation. He said that his family had not vacationed [[Page S2453]] since his two adult daughters were young. His service and sacrifice will truly be missed by a grateful nation, and we hope that he gets that vacation he so clearly deserves and more. Our Nation will feel the loss of this distinguished officer, warrior and patriot; however, I have the utmost respect for his decision to put his family first. I join many members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in expressing my respect and gratitude to General Allen for his outstanding service to our Nation. I wish him and his wife Kathy ``fair winds and following seas.'' ____________________