TROY—The Commandant of the United States Marine Corps urged Troy University graduates Friday to develop an understanding of the war against terrorism and support the U.S. troops fighting that war.
The speaker, Gen. James T. Conway, said the American public doesn’t fully understand the nature of the war on terrorism. He also said that to discontinue combat efforts in the Middle East would be a mistake.
“We are at war with a growing movement of religious extremism,” Gen. Conway said. “Whether or not we want to accept it, Afghanistan and Iraq are the first battles of that war. If you win the first battles, the war is shorter. If you lose those first battles, the war is only longer and tougher to win.”
Gen. Conway said Americans should develop a complete understanding of the threats posed by terrorism not only through traditional media, but also by talking with men and women of the U.S. military who have been in combat.
“Please continue to support the troops,” Gen. Conway added. “Keep them in your prayers, help to nurture them and their families if they are wounded and insist that they have the best gear available to accomplish their mission and come home safely.”
Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, presented diplomas to more than 400 graduates. Alabama Attorney General Troy King, a member of the Troy University class of 1990, delivered the invocation and benediction.