Defense Secretary James N. Mattis saluted community volunteers and emphasized the importance of service to others, saying giving back and putting others before self are core to America’s strength.
Mattis spoke last night at the Tri-Citian of the Year awards ceremony in Kennewick, Washington. The annual ceremony in southeastern Washington honors individuals who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to service above self.
Mattis said he was happy to be back in his home state, and credited his parents and the community for instilling in him the enduring values of service.
His four decades in the Marine Corps taught him about service culture, the warrior ethos and traits that make a good leader, Mattis said.
“I am not just the secretary of defense … I’m the secretary of your defense,” he said. “As a result, I am answerable to you. I am accountable to you and I want you to know I take that very seriously.”
Helping Others ‘Cuts Your Own Troubles in Half’
Mattis commended event attendees for their service in the community and commitment to helping the next generation.
The goal that all children should wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive, “reminds us again that goodness can be done in the world when people unite together,” he said.
“Through your service you may carry your choice about what…