As we shared yesterday, SgtMaj Bradley Kasal, USMC could not attend the unveiling.  However, he was there in spirit and shared these words with Chris Marquez, Dane Shaffer, and other attendees.

To all in attendance, I first must say I apologize for not
being able to attend in person. My deepest regrets as I’m unable to get away
from my current duties.


But I do want to take this time and write a few words to say
thank you to all in the Hope For The Warriors organization. Thank you for what
you do for all our nation’s service members, most specifically our wounded. It’s
remarkable to know our young Americans who have raised their right hand and
volunteered to support and defend this great nation, are never forgotten. That
there are great Americans taking care of fellow great Americans. This is what
makes our Country unique and special. This is the American spirit and the
American way. People are the US Armed forces greatest asset, and two of those great
Americans are in attendance today. While there are three individuals depicted
in the statue you see before you, I can assure you I was nothing more than an
unlucky individual who was fortunate to be surrounded by many of the greatest
of our generation. In this particular case I had one on both flanks of me by
the names of then LCpl Dane Shaffer and Chris Marquez. The date of Nov 13th,
2004 was a day that brought many unfortunate casualties. However it was also a
day when young Americans showed what they were made of and displayed
extraordinary spirit and heroism.

I remember vividly as I lay wounded inside the house that
day, two young Marines who suddenly appeared at my side. They did so after
running across an open room covered by deadly automatic weapons fire. The thing
that first caught my attention, besides that they were crazy, was neither
Marine carried a weapon. They left them behind, so they would have their hands
free in order to more capably carry me to freedom. First, this displayed the
trust they had in their fellow Marines who were assigned the task of covering
them as they crossed the open room unarmed. There was only one way out, and
that was back through the same kill zone that already caused several Marines to
be wounded. They ended up crossing that kill zone four times, each time
unarmed, and each time trusting their fellow Marines.

They did it because they were Marines. And that’s just what
Marines do.

To the Marquez and Shaffer families, if you are in
attendance, you should be very proud.  If we ever ask where we get such
fine men, we only have to look as far as their family.

We as a nation should never forget men like these two and
all the others who serve today in one of our nation’s most trying times. They
are truly incredible Americans and it was my honor to serve beside them.

Again, I want to say thank you and God Bless.

Semper Fi

SgtMaj Brad A Kasal

United States Marine