From north to south to east to west, from sea to shining sea, the American people are united in support of you and your families. As your Commander-in-Chief, I also want you to know that we will do whatever it takes to make sure that you have the strategy and the resources and the equipment and the leadership to get this done. You may have noticed that during these tough budget times, I took the step of freezing pay for our federal workforce. But because of the service that you rendered, all who wear the uniform of the United States of America are exempt from that action.
I cannot reconcile nor turn my back on the negative perceptions held by our Marines who are most engaged in the hard work of day-to-day operations in Afghanistan. We asked for their opinions, and they gave them to us. Their message is that the potential exists for disruption to the successful execution of our current combat mission should be, should repeal be implemented at this time.
Properly implemented, I do not envision that the repeal of don't ask, don't tell would keep us from accomplishing our worldwide missions, including combat operations.
As we have gone through the investigation, we're not finding that obvious flaw, that obvious problem. The team has done a lot of things in that fault tree investigation like we’ve done the fracture analysis, we've actually looked at the crack surface. And it showed that a little bit, to our surprise, that there was no initial crack in the stringer that was exacerbated during the bending effects of loading the crown into the tank. So that was a little bit of surprise to us.
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