tv Book Discussion CSPAN November 15, 2014 10:08pm-10:51pm EST
will get it. if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly bear. think about those things that we said. we are sharing them with you because we experienced it. we want you to have a great life, living in the greatest country in the world. we have had a great life. have there been challenges? hell, yeah. but look at us. [laughter] [applause] >> i want to make money more comment. an example about leadership. after i received the medal of honor, my radio operator from cambodia found me after 45 years. my interpreter. he was getting everyone together.
me and they still do today. i carry pictures in my wallet. the troops give you the respect you never thought you had. after 45 years, i am on the telephone with my 400 troops. that is part of leadership. i cared for them. that is what it is all about. [applause] next, joint chiefs of staff chair general martin dempsey speaks at the annual uso service members gala. and we hear from world war ii and vietnam veterans about their military service. on the next "washington journal," terry jeffrey discusses how republican leaders in congress should handle major policy issues, including
immigration and the affordable care act. adam green, cofounder of the progressive change campaign committee, outlines the legislative agenda of progressive groups. conable talks about president obama's authorization of additional troops to iraq to train kurdish and iraqi forces. live atton journal," 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. during a speech in brisbane, australia, president obama continued to strengthen ties with allies in the asia-pacific region. he talked about the recent high lateral agreement on climate change, and advancing human rights. here is a portion. >> the united states will continue to pursue a
constructive relationship with china. by virtue of its size and its remarkable growth, china will inevitably play a critical role future of the region. the question is, what kind of role will it play? i just came from beijing. as i said there, the united states welcomes the continuing rise of a china that is peaceful and prosperous and stable and plays a responsible role in world affairs. it is a remarkable achievement at thellions of people lifted out of poverty in china because the extraordinary growth rates they have experienced. that is a good thing that we should want and welcome that kind of development. ofchina is playing the role a responsible actor that is peaceful and prosperous and
stable, it is good for the region, it is good for the world, and it is good for the united states. we will pursue cooperation with china where our interests overlap, and there are sick ethic and injuries -- there are significant areas of overlap. more training between the militaries to prevent misunderstandings. more travel and exchanges between your people, and more cooperation on global challenges, from ebola to climate change. but in this engagement, we are also encouraging china to adhere to the same rules as other nations, whether in trade or on the streets. in this engagement, we will continue to be frank about where there are differences. america will continue to stand up for our interests and principles, including our unwavering support for the fundamental human rights of all people. benefit from the
relationship with china, or any other country, in which we put our values and ideals aside. for the young people here, practicality is a good thing. there are times where compromise is necessary. that is part of wisdom. is also important to hang on to what you believe, to know what you believe and be willing to stand up for it. what is true for individuals is also true for countries. >> you can see that entire speech by the president tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. chairmanefs of staff general martin dempsey was the main speaker at this year's uso servicemember award gala in washington. following remarks that included a bird addition of an ivory song, he and other members of
honored members of the military. united service organization is a private group, providing programs in the u.s. and around the world for american troops and their families. medienneand co the master ofs ceremonies. >> senior military leaders have a time-honored tradition of partnering with the uso to make sure the troops receive the support and services they need. these relationships allow the uso to be a part of the journeys our troops take and i'm incredibly honored to introduce our next guest, a man of true courage, honor, and integrity. a hero who has served in the united states army for nearly 40 years and currently serves at the 18th chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. and apparently knows the lyrics pickler'skellie
songs. please welcome general martin dempsey. [applause] >> thanks very much. i would like to begin i saying i "redt know the words to high heels." i don't know where she went but i cannot believe she said that. [laughter] by the way, how hard is it to follow kellie pickler? in terms of someone who demonstrates heart and passion and patriotism and compassion and commitment. she is all those things. i don't know where you are, kelly, are you back at the table? i don't see her there but how about we give her a round of applause? she might hear in back. [applause]
deenie and i are honored to be back. i mentioned this the last three years that when we put our calendar together for the year, there's just a handful of things we put on the calendar and we don't let anybody knock them off and this is one and it's because it is important. it's important for the soul of the force, so my compliments to the uso. our congratulations to jd and christine for becoming the leaders of this incredible organization and you can count on us to be among your biggest fans not only while we served but long after. thanks for that. aisha said she thought the commandant of the marine corps had the coolest name -- frank grass, you might be at the other end of that. [laughter]
grass? i love you, man but -- anyway -- [laughter] every year i throw somebody under the bus and this year it happens to be you. [laughter] over the last week -- one of the things that continues to surprise me is the way emotions kind of wash over you as the chairman and i'm sure the service chiefs feel the same way. there is always something that captures your imagination, your heart, your soul. and that last week alone, including this event tonight which i will mention in a moment, they week ago i was up at west point with my classmates celebrating our 40th reunion. yeah, it was unbelievable. one of the things we did is we took a cruise down the hudson river and it had been raining during the day but the rain kind
of blew out the bad weather and what we ended up with was an unbelievably crystal-clear fall night on this cruise, we saw the freedom tower in new york city and we all got some memories of that. all of a sudden, they announced come out on deck because we are about to approach the statue of liberty. we walked out on deck as a group. you can probably do the math so you know it's my 40th anniversary -- 40th reunion come you can probably tell how old we are but we walked out on deck and i'm not kidding you -- the size and the magnitude and the majesty and the beauty of the statue of liberty was just -- it was awe-inspiring. when you think about what it stands for -- honestly, for a bunch of us who were just
telling lies to each other all week about who we were and what we hoped to be, -- you kind of remember who we are. it was one of those moments so that was on saturday night and today, i went to the passage of command for the united states marine corps where the 35th commandant, jim amos, past command to the 36th commandant, joe dunford and i will tell you what, i am proud to be a member of the united states army but i also have the privilege of being the chairman of the joint chiefs. if you could see the pride with which those young men and women stood tall and passed in review and were there for this ceremony honoring their outgoing
commandant and their new commandant, it just made you want to stand taller and straighter. it's hard to stand straighter at least at my age. but the point is, the pride of the young men and women who served is absolutely inspiring. that is why, jd and all of you who served with the uso, that's why you do what you do because you want to match their pride with your commitment. it was just unbelievable. here i am again tonight so this is the trifecta for me. one week, three events where you can feel good not only about the military but about the country. now you can. [applause] let's give the country around of applause. [applause] i already mentioned jd and
christine and we want to welcome you -- by the way, there is nothing on this teleprompter. everybody else had something on the teleprompter. [laughter] anyway but jd and christine, welcome aboard as we say, terrific. i also want to mention my teammates, the joint chiefs. some of them are here tonight and i saw ray odierno and john and some of the vices and the commandant of the marine corps, the guy with the cool name and frank, the not so cool man guy. [laughter] i could not be, honestly, i could not be prouder to be part of that team, the joint chiefs of staff. we've got a lot going on in case you have not noticed. [laughter] if i had had this conversation with you and with them what, four months ago, we would not be talking about insecurity in
europe or this thing called isil and we would not be talking about ebola and here we are. by the way, the joint chiefs and the men and women who serve, we will figure it out. we will figure out what the country needs us to do and we will do it. we will do it well and we are going to keep the country safe -- [applause] even while we are sitting here tonight, besides the young men and women employed on missions we already know about, we've got people packing their bags to go to europe to reassure our allies or go to iraq or kuwait to make sure that this threat of isil does not continue to expand and to go to places like senegal and liberia to make sure that this disease is contained and therefore does not become a threat to the homeland.
that is what they do. the uso, i hope you did not think we would put you out of work. we are not going to put you out of work. you will have some work to do and we are proud to be partners with you in doing it. i also want to make a special mention tonight to a couple that happened to be here with us and to get, i think i'm a far less credit than they deserve or what they have done for their country and that's lloyd and charlene austin who happen to be sitting at our table tonight. [applause] if you value humility as a character trait, there is not many people i know better as humble as lloyd and charlene austin. when you think about the portfolio we have given him and the men and women who served with him, it's quite remarkable.
he's got really big shoulders but it's even remarkable that even he can bear the weight of what we have asked him to do. join me in a round of applause for lloyd and charlene. [applause] i already talked about kellie pickler. what an incredible person and kyle her husband. so she is an extraordinarily successful and talented country-western singer and on a whim says maybe i will try that "dancing with the stars" thing and i'm glad she does not want to give a shot to being the chairman. [laughter] i'm not sure i could fight her off. she is little, very little, but she is mean as a snake. [laughter] i want to mention one other person and i actually -- i try to mention this person every
year. some of you have been here for these events in the past. i apologize for being repetitive but marilou austin -- where is she? [applause] let me tell you -- i don't know where she is. i may get her to stand up and if somebody can find her with a spotlight -- marilou -- where is she? stand up. [applause] you are standing, i'm sorry. some of you heard the story but when i was a second lieutenant on the way to germany, it was january, 1975, i was lost. this is before sponsorship was a big deal. they kind of gave you a ticket to go to a place you could not pronounce. i got off of the aircraft and i went to where we all go when you're not exactly sure where to
go. i went to the uso. mary lou was there. she steered me in the right direction and i told this story three years ago -- she came up to me after and said " it was me." i thought that was cool so every year now, here you are. she is down in atlanta now but here's the rest of the story -- last year, my son was redeploying from afghanistan through atlanta. guess who he met? marilou austin. [applause] last thing i want to say before i bow off the stage and we will get the chiefs up here to recognize the wonderful young men and women who are honored here tonight is i want to mention -- the army on many tonight has a special connection to me. i don't even think he knows it. my son was class of 2000 from west point and had a best friend by the name of tom kennedy.
tom kennedy was killed just about two years ago now in afghanistan. in that incident, there was a suicide bomber with a suicide vest. among the folks who made the situation less catastrophic than it could have been was sergeant andrew mahoney who happens to be the army nominee tonight. [applause] he actually tackled a couple of the members of the team that were there and prevented them from being killed in that incident. that is who we are, right? i never met him but i will meet him here in a moment. we've got a connection that i did not even know we had until i read the bio.
here's the deal, people say to me, what's it like to be chairman right now? it's hard to describe actually. it's probably hard for all of us to describe what it's like to be serving just now when we are. but i did find this little irish ditty. can i get a drink of water before i try to bang out this irish tune? can somebody hand me a drink of water? somebody back there has got to be listening. by the way, this is the guy that put me in this position. i will never forgive you for this. [laughter] thanks, sir, george casey, 36 chief of staff of the united states army. [applause] i found this little -- it will shock you when i tell you it is an irish ditty but it is a little story about a brick layer. he was a brick layer and he was
actually writing to his boss to explain why he was not at work on this particular day. it's called "the sick note." i would describe it as analogous to what it's like to be serving at this level at this particular point in time. here's how it goes -- dear sir, i write this note to you to tell you of me plight and at the time of writing, i am not a pretty sight my body is all black and blue me face a deathly gray i write this note to say why patty's not at work today while working on the 14th floor, some bricks i had to clear now to throw them down from such a height was not a good idea the foreman was not very pleased he being an awkward sod he said i would have to carry
them down on the letter with me hod. clearing all the bricks by hand, it was so very slow so i hoisted up a barrel and secured the rope below but in me hasted to do the job, i was too blind to see that a barrel full of building bricks was heavier than me so when i did untie the rope, the barrel fell like lead and clinging tightly to the rope, i started up instead while i shot up like a rocket to my dismay i found that halfway up i met the bloody barrel coming down [laughter] the barrel broke me shoulder as to the ground it sped and when i reached the top, i banged the pulley with my head
but i clung on tight through numb and shock from this almighty blow and the barrel spilled out half the bricks 14 floors below. now when these bricks have fallen from the barrel to the floor i then outweighed the barrel and so started down once more [laughter] still clinging tightly to the rope, i sped back towards the ground and i landed on the broken bricks that were spread and scattered around while i laid there groaning on the floor, i thought i had passed the worst when the barrel hit the pulley wheel, and then the bottom burst a shower of bricks rained down on me i had not got a hope as i lay there moaning on the ground i let go the bloody rope [laughter]
let me tell you how proud we are to be part of this ceremony tonight and how proud we are of the men and women who serve and serving our country side-by-side with the uso. god bless you all, thank you. [applause] ♪ >> i don't think i have enjoyed anything more than watching the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff sing an irish ditty a cappella. it was incredible. we have to get some kind of celebrity idol going on. kelli come come out and coach you. by the way, the irish, super up upbeat people,--
no? that's why all the drinking. they will tell you that was true. [laughter] to help recognize this year's uso service members of the year, please welcome back to the stage, dr. crouch, general meyer, and general dempsey. [applause] and assisting us with the award presentation this evening is the daughter of a retired u.s. army major and miss district of columbia, teresa davis, a proud military brat. she has dedicated her rain to saluting the military and their families. each year, we come together to celebrate, honor, and recognize a servicemember from each branch of the military for their outstanding and heroic actions. our first presenter is a graduate of the united states military academy and served key operational leadership posts in europe, the middle east and the united states. to present the 2014 uso soldier
of the year award in the please welcome the army chief of staff general raymond odierno. [applause] >> thank you very much. general dempsey was a 37 chief of staff and i am the 38. like all things, talent skips a generation. [laughter] so as we pick the next chief, we will be conducting singing auditions before we decide who the chief will be. [laughter] general dempsey has volunteered to be one of those who grade the audition. i want to thank everyone at the uso for this incredible evening and for what you do. every one of us who wear uniform have our own uso story. we can all set up here and tell a great story of how it impacted us or one of our family members or one of our soldiers. i want to thank everyone for that tonight. i also have the honor tonight of presenting the soldier of the
year. we often talk -- as i go around, i say that the army, the strength of the army is our soldiers. tonight's awardee, sergeant mahoney, is incredibly representative of that. we often talk about courage, competence, commitment, and character and he represents all of those incredible things. we are very, very proud of him as he represents the army this evening. our honorees are accompanied by family and friends tonight while we recognize these extraordinary service members, we also want to recognize the family members and friends of our honorees. in so many ways, our family and friends served with us. it's obvious to me that sergeant mahoney has a close and loving family supporting him. he is joined tonight by his wife melanie, his parents lori and
james, his siblings travis, trevor, and sarah and his sister-in-law christie and brother-in-law ray. i want to thank all of you for supporting andrew. thank you so much. [applause] on the morning of august 8, 2012, sergeant andrew j mahoney helped tackle a suicide bomber near the provincial governor's compound in afghanistan. he saved the lives of 24 people. including the fourth brigade combat team fourth infantry division's commander at the time, colonel now brigadier general james mingus. ever vigilant as the team was proceeding on foot from the forward operating base to its destination when it reached a narrow bridge. sergeant mahoney noticed the
individual and identified an abnormal bulge under his shirt. as sergeant mahoney and captain grover tackle the bomber, the the assailant detonated his vest, wounding both soldiers. captain grover suffered wounds to his left leg and sergeant mahoney suffered a severe soft tissue wound to his left forearm and shrapnel wounds to his right shoulder and leg. for his exceptional gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty, sergeant mahoney receives the silver star. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, it's my distinct honor to present to you the 2014 uso soldier of the year, sergeant andrew mahoney. [applause]
please welcome marine corps deputy commandant of programs and services, lieutenant general glen waters. [applause] >> thank you so much. unfortunately, the marine of the year could not be with us tonight as he is currently attending officers candidate school. however, you have to do what you have to do. [applause] several members of his family are here on his behalf and i would like to take a moment to recognize them. his wife, jody, who is expecting their first child in december -- [applause] says she is due on the fifth. her husband is not ready to deploy until the 12th. schedule dependent. [laughter] the teleprompter notwithstanding, i will make a shameless plug and i did the
math and i think in 2032, we will have another recruit. [laughter] i would like to recognize his father-in-law, john and his mother-in-law, celeste. [applause] his aunt and his uncle, catherine and don keller. [applause] sergeant matthew melici is an osprey crew chief and defended his aircraft and the crew during an approach of a reconnaissance raid to a heavily defended enemy landing zone. his actions warranted the presentation of the distinguished service for his heroism and on june, 2012, he was serving as an aircraft gunner, delivering suppressive machine gun fire while approaching the landing zone. this allowed the raid force
to disembark the aircraft and immediately engage the enemy. despite serious damage to the control system and gunfire, he kept the aircraft commander and crew appraised of the situation. the california native maintained his poise while returning to the area to support the withdrawal of the raid force enabling the successful completion of the mission. his superb airmanship, inspiring courage, and loyal devotion reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the marine corps and united states naval service bradleys and gentlemen, i'm honored to present the 2014 u.s. -- 2014 uso marine of the year to sergeant matthew e, belleci. [applause] >> accepting on behalf of the sergeant is his wife jody. [applause] ♪
seven fleet to u.s. fleet forces command and now chief of naval operations. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 30th chief of naval operations, admiral jonathan greeneert. [applause] ♪ >> thank you very much. thank you, i, as my fellow service chiefs are honored to be here tonight. i would like to extend a special welcome to the friends and family of our recipient, officer cromer. this is a family affair as well. his wife laura and his parents gary and marie are here. laura's parents, marita and richard are here. he's got them all here tonight . everybody gets along, it's a wonderful thing. i thank you all for coming out to support troy. before we present the award, i would also like to thank the uso for their longtime support as marty has said and ray said, we all have a story, good story
about the uso of what they have done for ourselves and our shipmates and those of us who are serving. we are here to recognize brave and committed teammates who epitomized the selfless service that defines our military today. courageous and committed force continues to provide our united states with an advantage, and asymmetric advantage unmatched by any nation. petty officer first class troy cromer's job is in explosive ordnance disposal -- he is a one-person bomb squad. he distinguished himself on numerous occasions. this is pretty amazing -- during a 2013 deployment to afghanistan where he was serving with a navy seal team 10. on a foot patrol, the petty officer's platoon encountered intense enemy fire and were forced to withdraw in an armored vehicle. after leaving the patrol, and getting away from the ambush, troy discovered a
remote-controlled improvised explosive device that was placed between the vehicles. you all know improvised explosive device is a homemade bomb. while directing fire against the enemy and getting everybody out, he disarmed the ied and allowed the platoon to save the department area. on a separate mission, petty officer cromer led for special operations vehicle through an area littered with ied's and disabled three of them and insured once again their safe passage. on another occasion, he located and destroyed about 1/4 mile long tunnel underground cave system that had been used to store a bunch of weapons and explosives and got rid of that. two other separate occasions in other instances, his quick actions and bravery helped save the lives of at least five wounded afghan soldiers, those who are serving with him.
petty officer cromer has received the army commendation medal and the navy and marine corps achievement medal with a combat v and action ribbon. you might think that's pretty extraordinary, there is more. after accomplishing all of that, most of us would have gone to duty and be completed and go home. this sailor, while he was off duty, rescued a mother and her 18-month-old daughter from a burning apartment. in his free time -- [laughter] he dedicates a lot of time, countless hours to the make-a-wish foundation. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome a really handsome looking guy, by the way, but he's taken -- the 2014 sailor of the year, petty officer first class troy cromer. [applause] ♪
♪ ♪ >> our next presenter is a native of washington, d.c. and also the first air force officer to serve as assistant chief of staff on the white house military office. to present the 2014 uso airman of the year award, please look -- please welcome vice chief of staff of the united states air force, general larry o. spencer.
[applause] >> good evening, everyone. you may have noticed a little ruckus in the back because i demanded equal time with the chairman. you can tell obviously i am not from irish ancestry. [laughter] but i actually wrote a rap song. [laughter] [applause] however, because he said it's getting late, i have to wait until next year. sorry, chairman. >> after party. >> ok, after party. i am honored to represent general mark welch this evening. his family and friends are here this evening. joining senior airman john c hamilton in the audience tonight are his wife andrea, his mother sabrina, stepfather paul, father
mark, and stepmother teresa. [applause] lieutenant colonel mason doolan and his wife are here to support airman hamilton. [applause] lieutenant colonel doolan was a special tactical squadron commander and had the foresight to nominate john for this award so thank you. both of you represent the values of honor and integrity we hold so dear. senior airman john c hamilton, a pararescue man, distinctions up when he displayed remarkable courage and critical life-saving medical skills during an august 14, 2013 firefight in afghanistan. senior airman hamilton acted as a rescue and battlefield trauma specialist for an elite army special forces team during 13