To all service members, families, and friends of the greater Ramstein area –
For three weeks, we have conducted one of the most consequential and expansive humanitarian missions in the history of the United States. Since Aug. 20 more than 200 flights and 35,000 Afghan evacuees have arrived at Ramstein Air Base, where you have sheltered, fed, and cared for them. Your determination and dedication to accomplishing this mission has been remarkable.
There are endless heartwarming stories and acts of kindness occurring at Ramstein. Babies born on the flight line and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center; soccer games with military members and children in the pods; reunions of families and friends who were separated during travel but reunited here; and countless individual acts that give hope to each person transitioning to a new life.
While this mission has been unrelenting and ever-changing, each of you – Airmen, Soldiers, Guardians, NGOs, German Polizei, civic leaders, interagency, host nation partners, and countless family members — have done more than could ever be anticipated, asked, or expected. You have gone beyond the call of duty and have once again defined selfless service.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue to care for and protect our guests as they prepare for their onward journey. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other as exhaustion sets in. This is a physically and emotionally-demanding operation, and we need each of you to emerge from this experience strong and resilient.
We are saving lives. We are providing hope. We are showing compassion. The United States military is the greatest force for good in the history of the world, and each of you prove that every day. I could not be more proud to be a part of this team and the history we are making. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.