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American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, April 7, 2009 - In an unannounced visit here today, President Barack Obama praised servicemembers and government employees for their professionalism and sacrifice.
"You have performed brilliantly in every mission that has been given to you," Obama told about 1,500 U.S. servicemembers, government civilians and contractors at Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, the headquarters of Multinational Corps Iraq.
The president thanked the assembled servicemembers for their steadfast focus on the task at hand. "Through controversy and difficulty and politics, you kept your eyes focused on just doing your job."
Obama acknowledged that work remains to be done in Iraq, but told the servicemembers that through their service, they have been critical in ensuring that Iraq no longer remains a haven for terrorists.
"You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement, and for that you have the thanks of the American people," he said.
In closing, the president assured the audience that "we have not forgotten what you have already done; we are grateful for what you will do; and as long as I'm in the White House, you're going to get the support you need and the thanks that you deserve from a grateful nation."
(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)