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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

General Jonathan Wainwright a leader for all Veterans remembered on Veterans Day

Remember, too, that No American can afford to be disinterested in any part of his government, whether it is county, city, state or nation....General Jonathan Wainwright


General Jonathan Wainwright was remembered for providing leadership during extraordinary circumstances in World War II, in the Philippines and during the Battle of Bataan.  His letter to his discharged troops from Fort Sam Houston was part of the presentation at the Portland Rotary's Veterans Day breakfast, in Portland Maine.  Read by Major Adam Sacchetti USMC.
Major Adam Sacchetti USMC (Left) with Alpha Company 1st Batallion 25th Marines in Portland Maine on Veteras Day November 11, 205

Major Sacchetti USMC read a tribute to Veterans written by General J.M, Wainwright after World War II when he was an officer at Fort Sam Houston, in Texas. General Wainwright gave this letter to the discharged Army veterans.

Read by Major Sacchetti on November 11, 2015 to Rotary Club of Portland Veterans Day breakfast

HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY,
FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS To: All Personnel Being Discharged From The Army of The United States.

You are being discharged from the Army today-from your Army. It is your Army because your skill, patriotism, labor, courage and devotion have been some of the factors which make it great. You have been a member of the finest military team in history. You have accomplished miracles in battle and supply. Your country is proud of you and you have every right to be proud of yourselves.

You have seen, in the lands where you worked and fought and where many of your comrades died, what happens when the people of a nation lose interest in their government. You have seen what happens when they follow false leaders. You have seen what happens when a nation accepts hate and intolerance.

We are all determined that what happened in Europe and in Asia must not happen to our country. Back in civilian life you will find that your generation will be called upon to guide our country's destiny. Opportunity for leadership is yours. The responsibility is yours. The nation which depended on your courage and stamina to protect it from its enemies now expects you as individuals to claim your right to leadership, a right which you earned honorably and which is well deserved.

Start being a leader as soon as you put on your civilian clothes. If you see intolerance and hate, speak out against them. Make your individual voices heard, not for selfish things, but for honor and decency among men, for the rights of all people.

Remember, too, that No American can afford to be disinterested in any part of his government, whether it is county, city, state or nation.

Choose your leaders wisely -that is the way to keep ours the country for which you fought. Make sure that those leaders are determined to maintain peace throughout the world. You know what war is. You know that we must not have another. As individuals you can prevent it if you give to the task which lies ahead the same spirit which you displayed in uniform.

Accept that trust and the challenge which it carries. I know that the people of America are counting on you. I know that you will not let them down.

Goodbye to each and every one of you and to each and every one of you, good luck!

J. M. WAINWRIGHT

General, U.S. Army

Commanding

Jonathan Mayhew "Skinny" Wainwright IV (August 23, 1883 – September 2, 1953) was a career American army officer and the commander of Allied forces in the Philippines at the time of their surrender to the Empire of Japan during World War II. Wainwright was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his courageous leadership during the fall of the Philippines.  When he was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, he issued the above inspiring letter to all who were discharged after having served in World War II.

This letter was read to Portland Rotarians by Major Sacchetti during the club's Veterans Day breakfast.  

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